Donald Macleod on the 1870 outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, when Paris was under siege and with it the scenery and costumes of Verdi's grandest of all grand operas: Aida.
Donald Macleod explores Giuseppe Verdi's "middle period". In July of 1870, Verdi's latest operatic tale of conflict between two nations at war, of love, conquest, military pomp, jealousy and revenge, was overtaken by real-life events with the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Verdi had had his bruising professional experiences with the French but this crisis in her history brought out the Francophile in him: "...the impertinence, the presumption of the French was and is, despite all their misfortunes, insupportable," he wrote to a friend. "Nevertheless, in the last resort, France gave freedom and civilisation to the modern world . And if she falls, don't let us delude ourselves, all our liberties and civilisation will fall with her." By November, Paris was under siege and with it the scenery and costumes of Verdi's grandest of all grand operas: Aida.
Aida, Act 2 (Gloria all'Egitto & Triumphal March)
Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
Claudio Abbado (Conductor)
Aida, Act 3 (Pur ti riveggo ...La mia rival!)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Rome Opera House
Jon Vickers, Tenor (Radames)
Leontyne Price, Soprano (Aida)
Sir Georg Solti, Conductor
Aida, Act 4, Sc 2 (La fatal pietra ... O terra, addio)
Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Trumpeters of the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Montserrat Caballe, Soprano (Aida)
Placido Domingo, Tenor (Radames)
Fiorenza Cossotto, Mezzo-soprano (Amonasro)
Riccardo Muti (Conductor).