Giuseppe Verdi 1840–1890
Developments in Opera
The works of Shakespeare, Hugo, and other great Romantics inspire action-packed
melodramas filled with fascinating characters.
Italians so love Verdi's catchy tunes that his music becomes the anthem to unify
Italy into one nation, and Verdi himself becomes a national hero.
Opera matures; rather than a collection of separate musical numbers, it starts to
become a seamless whole in which the music flows from beginning to end, as in Verdi's
Aida, Otello, and Falstaff.
An evil duke's stooge, a pathetic jester, seeks revenge on his master,
only to kill the only person who loves his innocent daughter. A gripping and grisly
exploration of humanity's dark side.
A dying courtesan makes the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of the man
she loves. Tuneful, heart-wrenching, and surprisingly modern.
An enslaved Ethiopian princess falls in love with her father's enemy, the
commander of the Egyptian armies. Majestic and grandiose (and in some productions, filled
with camels and elephants).