La Scala’s December 7 season premiere of La Traviata made headlines in Italy — large type exclamations of how the director was boo’ed. The director’s intrepid vision was to demonstrate that Verdi’s love story need not be trapped in a 19th century Paris boudoir, but whose characters and emotions resonated in an ultra-chic, 20th-century Milanese […]
Columnists and Contributors
“Many Minded” is how Homer, the first poet of Western Civilization has been described: “many minded” – it’s Yeats’ expression for the incredible variety, depth and scope of the poet’s work. We may confidently apply that same epithet to Shakespeare, Goethe, Dante, Ovid, Virgil and, in modern times, as well, to Verdi for the qualities […]
by George W. MARTIN
As he enters his two hundred and first year, Verdi continues to hold the interest of American scholars and the affection of a vast audience. The scholars, responding to the “Verdi Renaissance,” which began in Germany in the 1920s and reached the United States in the 1940s, after gorging for half a century on Wagner rediscovered Verdi.
by Marcia J. CITRON
Franco Zeffirelli has built his career on opera and on film. In the early part of his life he assisted famed director Luchino Visconti and learned a great deal about stagecraft and cinema.
by Pierpaolo POLZONETTI
On November 2, 1906, Carla Erba, granddaughter of the founder of a leading Italian pharmaceutical industry, gave birth to Luchino Visconti in Milan, the city once ruled by the Visconti family. One hour before he was born – as he liked to recollect – the curtain went up at La Scala for a performance of Verdi’s Traviata.
by Federica TROISI
The celebration of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi provides the opportunity for a careful philological reading of his productions and a study of how European literary sources influenced the great composer’s artistic path. If the first task can be performed by a musician, the latter also involves the literary scholar.
by David SCHROEDER
Three decades of the operatic character on the silver screen.
From 1958 to 1986, four notable films of Verdi’s Otello appeared, with remarkably little in common. The first, made for RAI television by director Franco Enriquez in 1958, featured Mario Del Monaco; then came Walter Felsenstein’s East German version in 1969, five years later Herbert von Karajan both conducted and directed his with Jon Vickers and Mirella Freni, and Franco Zeffirelli’s appeared in 1986.
by Fred PLOTKIN
Talk to anyone in Busseto about Giuseppe Verdi, who was born five kilometers away in Roncole, and he or she will have a strong opinion about the composer who was also a national hero for giving Italy definition and voice in his operas and political activities. As often as not, Verdi is regarded with grudging respect locally for his indisputable achievements.
by Laura GIACALONE
The history of Italian literature has always been tightly intertwined with that of film. World-famous cinematic transpositions of literature masterpieces have left indelible marks on the collective imagination.
by Marguerite WALLER
A film that will now never be made was going to fill in the story of the forty-eight hours during which Federico Fellini went missing in L.A. just before he received the Foreign Film Oscar for Nights of Cabiria in l958. Sadly, Henry Bromell, a New Yorker-turned-television writer (Northern Exposure, Homicide, I’ll Fly Away, Chicago Hope, Brotherhood, Rubicon, Homeland), died suddenly of a heart attack just as he was due to direct his own script, Fellini Black and White, in which Fellini encounters a Black jazz musician with whom he spends those two days exploring the counter cultures of late 50s Los Angeles.