Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection broadcasts Saturday, December 7th, 2013, 5-6 pm on WRTI and wrti.org. Shakespeare continues to live, and if you were to name an orchestral work based on one of his plays, we wouldn’t blame you for coming up with one of the most popular works in the repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. But it wouldn’t be Discoveries without a curve ball or three, so this month we offer another Fantasy-Overture of his, Hamlet.
Tune in for a treat on Saturday, October 26 at 1 pm. Tenor Luciano Pavarotti sings Rodolfo in a San Francisco Opera archival production of Giuseppe Verdi's Luisa Miller. Conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos. Recorded Fall 1974, War Memorial Opera House.
In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people — like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas).
Two hundred years ago this week, Giuseppe Verdi was born in an Italian town midway between Bologna and Milan. On the occasion of his bicentennial, All Things Considered wanted to know what makes the great opera composer so enduring — why his work is still so frequently discussed and performed these two centuries later. The answer, says conductor and arranger John Mauceri, is that Verdi had a knack for making thorny topics accessible.
This is a world where murder’s a sport and debauchery’s a way of life. At its rotten core reigns the Duke of Mantua, a serial seducer who’s out to conquer anyone in skirts—from servant girls to the wives and daughters of his noblemen friends. Aiding his boss in the game and cheering him on when he scores is Rigoletto, the despised court jester. Only one person brings him joy—his innocent daughter Gilda, whom he keeps behind locked doors and guards with his life.
Michael Mayer’s bold new production locates Verdi’s tragedy of lust, betrayal, and revenge in Las Vegas in 1960. Željko Lučić sings the title role and Diana Damrau is his beautiful daughter, who falls under the spell of Piotr Beczala’s womanizing Duke.
A love triangle turns deadly in Verdi's A Masked Ball. Conspirators want the Swedish monarch Gustav III dead — and suspected adultery plays right into their murderous plans. The king is in love with his best friend's wife, and she's in love with him. Desperate to extinguish her ardor, she turns to a sorceress for help, but too late! The secret's out and a devastated husband takes his revenge.
Verdi is at the peak of his musical and dramatic genius as he delves deeply into the psyches of three people who love, yet destroy, each other.
Think you know your Verdi operas? With this month’s selection, featuring the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Jose Serebrier on the podium, you might be surprised at how much music Giuseppe Verdi wrote for his operas that is rarely heard in public today.