[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.]
Donald Macleod examines the beginnings of Verdi's collaborative relationship with Arrigo Boito, a man almost 30 years his junior. It started badly - at a banquet at which both men were present, Boito called on 'young Italian Art' to throw off the shackles imposed by the 'old and cretinous'. Verdi took it as a personal insult, but they managed to recover from this and Boito would become the librettist of Verdi's final works.