We love Verdi. Verdi, Verdi much... | Welsh National Opera

We love Verdi. Verdi, Verdi much...

3 April 2018

Verdi is one of the world’s most popular composers, having written some of the most recognisable operas. With his beautiful melodies and captivating stories he was and remains today to be one of the most prolific composers of all time. So it’s no wonder that we have filled our 2018 and 2019 with Verdi. Read on to see why we Verdi much in love with the composer… (Sorry we are just so punny…)

Verdi was a man of the people and wrote opera not for the critics but for everyone. There is a famous incident that involved a critic that Verdi invited to hear extracts while he was writing Il Trovatore, and with every piece Verdi played for him he would exclaim its inferiority. But Verdi smiled, embraced the critic and cried;

‘Thank you so much. I’ve been writing an opera for the common people of Italy. If you, the eminent and refined critic, had liked it, then nobody else would have. But if you hate it, that means the whole world will love it!’

During our Spring 18 Season we started our brand new Verdi trilogy with La forza del destino, which is proving a success and has been given four and five star reviews. It has one of his most famous and instantly familiar overtures that have been used from classic film scores (Jean de Florette) to ‘Reassuringly Expensive’ advertisements - some you might remember, such as the one below. 

Our production saw the return of Mary Elizabeth Williams and Welsh tenor, Gwyn Hughes Jones and what a triumph it was. The production is in collaboration with Theater Bonn and the set will be reused and transformed next year for the second part of the trilogy. 

In Spring 2019 we’ll be taking on Un ballo in maschera, which is a story based on the real life story of King Gustav III of Sweden who was assassinated. It’s a ‘does-what-is-says-on-the-tin-opera’ as the title (in Italian) translates as ‘A Masked Ball’, therefore the drama unfolds at a masked ball. Originally Verdi’s first version was set in Sweden in 1792, but due to the political controversy surrounding this he relocated the opera to the US. Our production will veer away from the version based in Boston, but we are keeping our cards close to our chest about the details of what we hope will be another thrilling production. 

To continue our love affair with Verdi we will be reviving our production of La traviata in Autumn 2018 and taking you back to 18th century Paris where we find the protagonist Violetta, a Parisian courtesan, hosting a party. This is one of Verdi’s most recognisable operas and its plot has been used as inspiration for the musical film Moulin Rouge. As well as influencing the story-line, La traviata also gets mentioned in the film Pretty Woman - it’s the opera Edward takes Vivian to see and the music from the opera is used in the final scene of the movie. Click here to read more about where and when you can see our production this autumn. 

In fact you will find Verdi’s musical influence has spread far beyond the realms of opera and into popular culture and that is just one reason why we are championing Verdi. 

If you could like more information about our Verdi Trilogy and how to contribute to our Verdi Syndicate click here.