The operas of Giuseppe Verdi stand at the center of today's operatic repertoire, and have done so for more than a century. The story of how the reputation and wide appeal of these operas spread from Western Europe throughout the world has long needed to be told. This latest book by noted Verdi authority George W. Martin, Verdi in America: Oberto through Rigoletto, specifically details the changing fortunes of Verdi's early operas in the theaters and concert halls of the United States.
Among the important works whose fates Martin traces are Nabucco, Attila, Ernani, Macbeth (in its original version), Luisa Miller, and one of Verdi's immortal masterpieces: Rigoletto, denounced in 1860 as the epitome of immorality.
Martin also explores the astonishing revival of many of these operas in the 1940s and onward (including Macbeth in its revised version of 1865), and the first American productions-sometimes in small opera houses outside the main circuit of some Verdi operas that had never previously managed to cross the Atlantic. Extensive quotations from newspaper reviews testify to the eventual triumph of these remarkable works. They also reveal the crucial shifts in tastes and expectations that have occurred from Verdi's day to our own.
Independent scholar George W. Martin is the author of several books on Italian opera, including Verdi, His Music, Life and Times, Verdi at the Golden Gate: Opera and San Francisco in the Gold Rush Years, and Aspects of Verdi.
Table of Contents
I Lombardi alla prima crociata
I due Foscari
The Country's Growth Stimulates Opera
Opera on Tour and the Rise of Regional Companies
Un giorno di regno
La battaglia di Legnano
Appendix A: The Operas, Their World, Western Hemisphere, and U.S. Premieres
Appendix B: The Swift Spread of Ernani
Appendix C: Dollar Values and Populations
Appendix D: The San Carlo Touring Company: Repertory and Number ofPerformances, 1913/14 through 1928/29
Appendix E: Number of Performances of Verdi's Operas at the Metropolitan, 1883/84 through 2008/9
Appendix F: An Arrangement, a Reduction, and the Score as Written: Stiffelio