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High Noon

Donald Macleod focuses on some of the works that took Verdi to the height of his fame.

Donald Macleod explores Verdi's later life and music when, after years of honing his craft, he unleashed an outpouring of innovative masterworks that would propel opera from the world of the 19th century into the modern age. It wasn't a smooth road, though, and the aging composer had to be persuaded out of retirement several times as he found himself increasingly at odds with the world around him.

Having written 16 operas in 11 years at the height of his productivity, he then dedicated much of his time to accumulating and cultivating a huge estate, with the help of his second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi. Their relationship began in Paris, and while this was an intensely creative period during which Verdi composed some of his best-loved works - Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata - it was also a difficult time for him privately, the unmarried couple facing scandal when they moved back to the small Italian town of Bussetto.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 7 Oct 2013 12:00

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Music Played

  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Nabucco - opera in 4 parts

    Conductor: Riccardo Muti. Performer: Renata Scotto. Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra.
    • EMI.
    • CDS7474888.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Rigoletto - opera in 3 acts

    Conductor: Rafael Kubelík. Conductor: Rafael Kubelík. Performer: Carlo Bergonzi. Performer: Carlo Bergonzi. Performer: Catarina Alda. Performer: Fiorenza Cossotto. Performer: Ivo Vinco. Performer: Chorus of La Scala, Milan. Performer: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 437 704 2.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Rigoletto - opera in 3 acts

    Conductor: Rafael Kubelík. Performer: Carlo Bergonzi. Performer: Caterina Alda. Performer: Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau. Performer: Fiorenza Cossotto. Performer: Ivo Vinco. Performer: Renata Scotto. Performer: Chorus of La Scala, Milan. Performer: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 437 704 2.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    La Traviata - opera in 3 acts

    Conductor: Georg Solti. Performer: Angela Gheorghiu. Performer: Frank Lopardo. Performer: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
    • DECCA.
    • 448 119-2-.

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