“Verdi work”, as a clue, has consistently appeared in numerous newspaper crossword puzzles.
It used to be that publishers would publish reference books to assist readers in filling in the answers to the clues. But, although the basic crossword hasn’t changed, the computer (laptop or hand-held device) has become the reference source.
Crossword clues about the opera work of Verdi, Wagner, Bizet, Tchaikovsky etc. have been around since crosswords were first invented. Opera works often have very difficult story lines or librettos and that makes them good for crossword puzzles.
the Grand Opening Chorus – Toast (Coro d’introduzione) , Act I from the opera work Ernani by Giuseppe Verdi. Performed by the K&K Philharmoniker at the Herkulessaal der Münchener Residenz, Germany. Conducted by Myron Yusypovych.
First performed in 1844, this Verdi work was inspired by a revolutionary play. The work was by Victor Hugo (1902 – 1885) and premiered in Paris in 1830. From accounts of the time, the play by Victor Hugo that inspired the Verdi work created quite an uproar. The audience rioted during the performance.
Both the play and the opera revolve around a love quadrangle.
There once was a noblewoman who was in love with a nobleman. The nobleman had been stripped of his title and outlawed. The title is actually his bandit name. The noblewoman is engaged to be married to her uncle, an elderly statesman. The king of the land is in lust with her and wants to seduce her.
The basic story line of both the play by Victor Hugo and the opera by Giuseppe Verdi are the same. The difference is in the ending and of course, that the play is a dramatic spoken work performed by actors, while the opera work is set to music performed by opera singers.
In the play, the committed lovers drink poison and both die. In the opera, the bandit lover commits suicide and dies in the arms of his true love.
The Victor Hugo work with the title bandit is Hernani, ou l’Honneur Casillan. The Giuseppe Verdi work with the title bandit is Ernani.
What Sacred Choral Work by Verdi Inspired a Revolution?
Va pensiero – Sacred Choral Work by Verdi
An entire nation was inspired by a sacred Verdi choral work. The lyrics of the choral work are based on Psalm 137 from the Old Testament of the Bible.
For much of his creative life, Giuseppe Verdi worked at a time when the Italy we know today was not a unified state. Its various parts were ruled by foreign governments. Yet, many Italians dreamed of a time when the glory of the Roman Empire would return and they would be united with their capital in Rome.
Even today, this choral work by Giuseppe Verdi is taught in schools in Italy as a patriotic anthem. As a matter of fact, in 2011 Ricardo Muti agreed to an encore of this Verdi choral work (something he never does) in support of Italian culture and patriotism.
The sacred Verdi choral work is from the opera Nabucco and is called “Va pensiero” or alternatively the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves”.
What is a Famous Verdi Work of Opera Written for the Opening of the Suez Canal?
Aida – Famous Verdi Work
There is quite a bit of controversy on whether or not a famous Verdi work was actually written for the opening of the Suez Canal.
The Suez Canal is in Egypt. It is a man-made waterway that connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea and took 10 years to construct. The Suez Canal opened to shipping on November 17, 1869 although, remaining work on the Suez Canal was not completed until late 1871.
Verdi was approached to write the opera work in 1869. However, he didn’t actually agree to the commission until 1870. The premiere of the work was on December 24, 1871 at the Cairo Opera House in Egypt.
Do you see a correlation between the opera dates and the work on the Suez Canal?
This Verdi work was not performed during the official Suez Canal opening ceremonies. It wasn’t even written at the time. But, the famous Verdi work, that was performed when work on the Suez Canal was finally completed, is Aida.
Which Verdi Work of Opera Centers Around a Hunchback Jester?
Rigoletto by Verdi
There is another Verdi work based on a play by Victor Hugo (1902 – 1885).
In Victor Hugo’s work, the action takes place in 19th century France. Interestingly, the play, Le roi s’amuse, was banned by French court censors after its first performance in November, 1832.
In order to avoid the same fate as the play, Giuseppe Verdi was advised by the Austrian censors to change the setting of his opera to the Duchy of Mantua, a region in present-day northern Italy. In the 16th – 17th centuries, this area was a flourishing cultural and political state, which eventually was annexed by the French and later by the Austrians.
Both the play and the opera have a hunchback jester.
There once was a hunchback jester. Suffering from low self-esteem and consumed by hatred, the hunchback encourages his sovereign to seduce, rape and abuse women as his right of royalty and power. Things don’t go so well when the hunchback jester’s daughter falls in love with the lecherous sovereign. The hunchback vows revenge. But, what goes around comes around, and the hunchback ends up murdering his own daughter.
The Verdi opera work, which features a hunchback jester was originally called La maledizione. The opera work was first performed on March 11, 1851 under the title Rigoletto – a reference to the hunchback himself.
In operas you rarely see people working. Usually, the opera singers are “discussing” events, getting ready for battle, serenading their love – but, not working.
But, there is one Verdi work of opera which has three plot-lines (and they are too complicated to discuss here) and actually has a very famous choral scene of blacksmiths forging metal over an open fire.
The choral work is known as the “Anvil Chorus”. The Spanish gypsies sing of work, wine and women, all the time striking their hammers against the anvils to the rhythm of the music.
The Verdi opera where there are men at work is Il trovatore.