Donald Macleod explores Verdi's long relationship with singer Giuseppina Strepponi as his fame began to spread throughout Italy and further afield in Europe.
Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Tuesday's episode, Donald explores Verdi's long relationship with the singer Giuseppina Strepponi as the composer's fame began to spread throughout Italy and further afield in Europe, a period during which he travelled greatly, spending time in Paris, and throughout Italy where newspaper reports of his death lead to claims of poisoning by a rival composer.
Nabucco - Act 1 - Viva Nabucco!
Chorus and Orchestra of the German Opera, Berlin
Giuseppe Sinopoli (conductor)
Ernani - Act 1 - Ernani, ernani...; Tutto sprezzo
Joan Sutherland (Elvira)
Orchestra & Chorus of Welsh National Opera
Richard Bonynge (conductor)
Macbeth - Act 4 - Gran Scena del Sonnabulismo - "Vegliammo invan due notti"; "una Macchia..."
Shirley Verrett (Lady Macbeth)
Anna Caterina Antonacci (Dama)
Sergio Fontana (Medico)
Orchestra & Chorus of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)
Jerusalem - Act 2 - Helene!... O ciel! Gaston!; Une pensee amere... Aux armes!
RAI Orchestra & Chorus
Gianandrea Gavazzeni (conductor)
Un Ballo in Maschera - Act 2 - Ma dall'arido stelo divulsa; Teco io sto.... M'ami m'ami
Margaret Price (Amelia)
Luciano Pavarotti (Riccardo)
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Georg Solti (conductor)
Producer: Sam Phillips