Tag Archives: Giuseppe Verdi

Mazzola showcases early Verdi

Anyone who has attended a presentation by Lyric Opera Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola knows what a dynamic speaker he is. Now the whole world can bask in his unique presence via an original and engaging web series dubbed “Breaking Down the Score: Attila.” Each of the 12 episodes in this series features a personal interpretation and reading by Maestro Mazzola of a musical number from Verdi’s early opera “Attila.” Launched in October and running through mid-December, the entire series can be viewed by subscribing to the Lyric’s YouTube channel. To view current and previous episodes, click here.  

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Chorus shines in Lyric’s “Nabucco”

The real star of “Nabucco” is the chorus, and conductor Carlo Rizzi clearly understands this, as he gave the celebrated body their head. And under the direction of Chorus Master Michael Black, they sang more exuberantly than ever, thrilling the jam-packed Civic Opera house audience that braved single-digit temperatures to see the opera that launched Verdi’s career as the King of Italian Opera. Again and again, the chorus, if Hebrews, Babylonians or whatever, made the very most of each choral number. And they were consistently excellent whether singing distinctly as a chorus, like the famous Act III, scene ii “Va, …

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How “Nabucco” changed Verdi’s life

  Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco” is one of the most significant works of art ever created. Not only is its impact historic in launching Verdi’s successful career as an opera composer and so decidedly affecting the direction of Romantic opera, but it clearly had a historic impact on Italy and European politics. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine what Europe might look like even today if “Nabucco” had not been staged at La Scala in March 1842. Perhaps the greatest miracle of “Nabucco” was that it was the work of a very troubled young composer — certainly a talented man, but …

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“Il trovatore” review

At this writing, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I am thankful for many things, and one that I am most grateful for is that I can experience opera performed in Chicago just about as well as it can be done. The Met in New York for over a century was by far the greatest opera company in the USA, if not the world, but with the departure of Joseph Volpe and Franco Zefirelli, the quality of its productions are uneven at best. But you can count on the Lyric Opera of Chicago, however, to consistently stage outstanding productions. …

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