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Classical 101

Classical Haiku: Giuseppe Verdi

Heartache and revenge in your heroines’ footlights – all the world’s your stage. If one were to look at a list of opera productions around the world since, say, 1960, the operas of Giuseppe Verdi might well outweigh those of almost any other composer (Giacomo Puccini being a notable exception). While Verdi didn't invent opera, his operas did weave together many of the strands of musical and dramatic invention that composers before him posited into the genre. Verdi's operas combine the influences of Italian opera composers Vincenzo Bellini (i.e. Norma) and Gaetano Donizetti (i.e. L'elisir d'amore) to create an operatic experience that is, at once (in my opinion), more fluid musically and, therefore, dramatically than those conceived of by his predecessors. The result: When you leave a performance of a Verdi opera, you feel as though you've done more than hear beautiful music. You feel as though you've been personally engaged with the players in someone else's, well, soap opera. Today's Classical Haiku celebrates Verdi's flair for the dramatic, still writ large on the great stages of the world.