News

We love Verdi. Verdi, Verdi much...

3 April 2018

Verdi is one of the world’s most popular composers, having written some of the most recognisable operas. With his beautiful melodies and captivating stories he was, and remains today, to be one of the most prolific composers of all time. So it’s no wonder that we have filled our 2018 and 2019 seasons with Verdi. Read on to see why we Verdi much in love with the composer…

Verdi was a man of the people and wrote opera not for the critics but for everyone. There is a famous incident that involved a critic who Verdi invited to hear extracts while he was writing Il Trovatore. With every piece Verdi played for him he would exclaim its inferiority, but Verdi smiled, embraced the critic and cried;

‘Thank you so much. I’ve been writing an opera for the common people of Italy. If you, the eminent and refined critic, had liked it, then nobody else would have. But if you hate it, that means the whole world will love it!’

During our Spring 18 Season we started our brand new Verdi trilogy with La forza del destino, which proved a success, receiving four and five star reviews. The opera has one of Verdi’s most famous and instantly familiar overtures, which has been used from classic film scores (Jean de Florette) to ‘Reassuringly Expensive’ advertisements - some you might remember, such as the one below: 

Our production saw the return of Mary Elizabeth Williams and Welsh tenor, Gwyn Hughes Jones and what a triumph it was! The production is in collaboration with Theater Bonn and the set will be reused and transformed next year for the second part of the trilogy. 

In Spring 2019 the La forza del destino set will be reused and transformed for the second part of the trilogy as we take on Un ballo in maschera.  based on the real life story of King Gustav III of Sweden who was assassinated. The title (in Italian) translates as ‘A Masked Ball’, so as you can expect the drama climaxes at a masked ball.

To continue our love affair with Verdi we will be reviving our production of La traviata in Autumn 2018 and taking you back to 19th century Paris where we find the protagonist Violetta, a Parisian courtesan, hosting a party. This is one of Verdi’s best-loved operas and its plot has been used as inspiration for the musical film Moulin Rouge as well as featuring in the film Pretty Woman - it’s the opera Edward takes Vivian to see and the music from the opera is used in the final scene of the movie. In fact you will find Verdi’s musical influence has spread far beyond the realms of opera and into popular culture and that is just one reason why we are championing Verdi.