Giuseppe Verdi and Italian Opera

Verdi opera are part of the classical opera repertoire. It is not possible to read, write or speak about Italian opera without mentioning Verdi. Indeed, opera Verdi is a standard in the opera music world.

One of the most famous opera songs on the Verdi opera list is the popular Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves – «Va, pensiero». Additionally, the Aida opera, La traviata opera, the Nabucco opera, the Otello opera and the Rigoletto opera by Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901), are all part of the contemporary grand opera house season.

Indeed, Giuseppe Verdi operas are integral to the opera music world. Some would claim that he is the most famous and widely recognized from among Italian opera composers.

Verdi Opera
Verdi Opera


Read to Discover Verdi Opera:

There are many questions and interesting facts about Verdi and Italian opera that can make attending a Verdi opera or listening to it online a more enjoyable experience…

  1. What are some Interesting, Fun Facts about Giuseppe Verdi?
  2. What are the names of some Famous Verdi Opera Choruses?
  3. Why is the Nabucco Opera by Verdi so popular?
  4. Is the Verdi Requiem an Opera?
  5. How did Verdi opera contribute to the Cause of Italian Unity?
  6. Is there an Art to Conducting a Verdi opera?
  7. Which Crossword Clues refer to Verdi opera works?
  8. Is there a List of Verdi Opera?

Interesting Fun Facts About Who is Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) is an Italian opera composer who composed over 25 operas.

There are many interesting facts about Verdi, his life and creative output. But perhaps most intriguing are that Verdi:

-drew his opera themes from literature greats: William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Johann Schiller (1759-1805), Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) and Victor Hugo (1802-1885);
-was very influenced by his Roman Catholic background, although professing to be a atheist and/or agnostic;
-and Richard Wagner (1813-1883) were born the same year and both impacted on the development of opera history;
-and Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861) were born 5 months apart and were both were destined to become embroiled in the self-determination of their people.


Famous Verdi Opera Choruses

As an opera composer, Verdi created a unique identity for the opera chorus. After all, in addition to the soloist opera singers, every opera has an opera chorus.

Before Verdi, most composers delegated a commentary role to the chorus (much akin to the tradition of classical Greek drama). On the other hand, Giuseppe Verdi was instrumental in creating a dramatic and separate character through the opera chorus – slaves, workers, soldiers, gypsies…

Verdi Opera Choruses
Verdi Opera Choruses

Today, Verdi’s famous opera choruses are not only famous but also part of popular culture:

  • Va, pensiero” (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from the opera Nabucco
  • The Anvil Chorus” from the opera Il trovatore
  • La donna e mobile” from the opera Rigoletto
  • Coro d’introduzione” from the opera Ernani
  • The Drinking Song” from the opera La traviata.

Nabucco – The Opera That Jump Started Verdi’s Opera Career

The Verdi opera Nabucco was the famous Italian composer’s third opera. Significantly, the Nabucco opera was composed at a time when Giuseppe Verdi was an unknown composer. His wife and infant sons had recently passed away. His previous attempt at writing and premiering an opera had been a disaster.

Following Nabucco and, for the next 20 years, Verdi composed and premiered an average of at least one opera per year. Even today, there are those who claim that Nabucco is one of Verdi’s best opera. But, then, there are many names of operas to choose. The list of Verdi opera and the year they premiered is listed below.

Verdi Opera Nabucco
Verdi Opera Nabucco


The Verdi Requiem Has Operatic Elements

The Requiem by Verdi is a non-standard piece of opera and classical music. Initially, the piece was conceived as a tribute to the opera composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868). It was to be a collaboration among 13 composers. Verdi composed the final section – Libera me.

Subsequently, Verdi composed a full Messa da Requiem in memory of the Italian literary giant Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873). In doing so, Verdi reworked his final section into the Dies Irae and completed the Messa da Requiem.

The Dies Irae consists of choir, soloists and the full force of the percussion and brass sections of the orchestra. Even prior to the Requiem’s premiere on March 22, 1874, while it was still in rehearsal, this section in particular was actively criticized as being too operatic for a liturgical work. The biggest critic was the conductor Hanz von Bülow (1830-1894).


Verdi Was Active Politically and Contributed to Italian Unity

In the 19th century, Verdi opera was very much a part of Italian politics.

As Paul Robinson of Stanford University in his book Opera and Ideas: From Mozart to Strauss (1985) states:

“Of all the great opera composers, Verdi is the most political. Issues of power and authority figure more centrally in his operas than they do in any of his artistic peers.”
Robinson, Paul, 1985, p.155

Music and culture as a whole have always been part of the political scene. Today, many organizors of competitions and festivals around the world continuously claim that they don’t want politics to be a part of their events.

But, when we examine many of the great works of art or music over the ages they have consistently been part of the political scene – either reflecting it or influencing it.

Verdi was active in the politics of revolutionary Italy. He was elected as a member of the first Italian Parliament in 1861. In his operas, Verdi reflected the 19th century Italian struggle for Italian unity.


Verdi Opera and the Art of Conducting

Is there an art to conducting Verdi opera? Why should opera conducting be considered an art?

Opera conductor Myron Yusypovych has been referred to by music critics as “a true Verdi opera specialist”. Yusypovych addressed the issue of conducting Verdi opera in one of his MusicNotes.

In terms of the actual arm gestures, neither La traviata, nor any other opera by G. Verdi, including Aida, Otello or Falstaff, compare with the demands of Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) or The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky…

Nevertheless, the quantity of energy expended by the conductor and musicians in order to perform an overly saturated and complex musical score is not the issue. The important issue is the artistic outcome and the effect it has on the audience. It is the audience that has to become convinced…

Continue reading MusicNotes by Myron Yusypovych


Crosswords Exploit Verdi Opera Words

Crossword clues about Verdi opera have been around since crosswords were first invented. Have you ever needed an answer to any of these crossword clues about Verdi opera? We’ve assembled some of the most popular crossword clues and provided answers. Check them out!

  • Which Verdi work of opera has a title that refers to a bandit?
  • What sacred choral work by Verdi inspired a European revolution?
  • Did Verdi compose an opera for the opening of the Suez Canal? Or, is this hoax?
  • Which Verdi opera centers around a hunchback jester?
  • Which Verdi opera has a famous scene of men working – blacksmiths forging metal over an open fire?
  • Which Verdi opera is about a slave? Or, is there more than one slave in more than one Verdi opera?

Verdi Opera Works
Verdi Opera Works


A List of Verdi Opera

A list of Verdi opera is readily available. After all, Giuseppe Verdi has been extremely well researched. And, with the 200th anniversary of his birth celebrated in 2013, many events, conferences, music festivals and conferences were dedicated to popularizing the great Italian composer.

The following list of Verdi operas is given in the order in which they were premiered. Additional information about some of the Verdi opera is provided. We are continuously updating the information.

  • 1839 – Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio premiered on November 17
  • 1840 – Un giomo di regno premiered on September 5
  • 1842 – Nabucco premiered on March 9
  • 1843 – I Lombardi alla prima crociata premiered on February 11
  • 1844 – Ernani premiered on March 9
  • 1844 – I due Foscari premiered on November 3
  • 1845 – Giovanna d’arco premiered on February 15
  • 1845 – Alzira premiered on August 12
  • 1845 – Attila premiered on August 12
  • 1847 – Macbeth premiered on March 14
  • 1847 – I masnadieri premiered on July 22
  • 1847 – Jerusalem premiered in November 26
  • 1848 – Il corsaro premiered on October 25
  • 1849 – La battaglia di Legnano premiered on January 27
  • 1849 – Luisa Miller premiered on January 27
  • 1849 – Stiffelio premiered on December 8
  • 1851 – Rigoletto premiered on March 11
  • 1853 – Il trovatore premiered on January 19
  • 1853 – La traviata premiered on March 6
  • 1855 – Les vêpres siciliennes premiered on June 13
  • 1857 – Simon Boccanegra premiered on March 12
  • 1857 – Aroldo premiered on August 16
  • 1859 – Un ballo in maschera premiered on February 17
  • 1862 – La forza del destino premiered on November 10
  • 1867 – Don Carlos premiered on March 11
  • 1871 – Aida premiered on December 24
  • 1887 – Otello premiered on February 5
  • 1893 – Falstaff premiered on February 9.

Verdi Opera Festival List
Verdi Opera Festival List

Text by: Oksana A. Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych


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