VERDI WEEK on The Last Verista: “Viva Verdi: Celebrating 200 magnificent years of this “Grande Maestro”


In a time fraught with financial issues and artistic controversies, the opera world welcomes this historically relevant week in anticipation of the 200th Birthday of the great and individual composer, Giuseppe Verdi.  This week on the Last Verista, posts will be dedicated to his music, his life, his thoughts, letters, and those singers and conductors who have spent years perfecting the art of Verdian cantilena.  As opera companies and orchestras the world over prepare their celebratory concerts, Verdi’s week of celebration could not have come at a better time, considering the almost idiotic suggestions about closing opera houses like La Scala Milano.  Perhaps by wafting in the joy of Verdi’s music, those persons running said companies might recall just how poignant and historical La Scala, and opera houses in general, really are.  

verdi e boito

With his, at first, rival and then most fervent companion and colleague, Arrigo Boito

On Met Opera Radio, the entire week is devoted to Verdi operas, so if you have a subscription to Sirius/XM Radio, tune in and if you don’t, this is as good a time as any to cash in on the free 7 day trial.  How great a life was Verdi’s! For all he gave to us, the fact that his operas continue to remain staples in most operatic seasons, and for the luminous melodies and soaring orchestral idioms that sometimes seem metaphysical (of this world and yet seemingly of next) CELEBRAMO! Personally, I stand in reverence and devotion to this great man who, in my line of work, gives me something beautiful every day of my life.  “Gioir!!” “Gioir!!”  “Viva Verdi!”

Verdi’s Don Carlo to Open at La Scala on October 12


Conductors: Fabio Luisi, Piergiorgio Morandi

Staging and sets: Stéphane Braunschweig

Costumes: Thibaut Van Craenenbroeck

Lights: Marion Hewlett

PapeRene Pape as Filippo


Stefan Kocan alternates as Fillippo and Il Grande Inquisitore

Filippo II, re di Spagna:  René Pape (12, 16, 19, 23, 26), Stefan Kocán (29)

Don Carlo, Infante di Spagna: Fabio Sartori

Rodrigo, Marchese di Posa: Massimo Cavalletti

Il Grande Inquisitore, cieco nonagenario: Štefan Kocán (12, 16, 19, 23, 26), Rafal Siwek (29)

Un frate: Fernando Rado

Elisabetta di Valois: Martina Serafin

La Principessa d’Eboli: Ekaterina Gubanova

Tebaldo, paggio d’Elisabetta: Barbara Lavarian

Il Conte di Lerma: Carlos Cardoso

Un araldo reale: Carlo Bosi

Voce dal cielo: Roberta Salvati

Deputati fiamminghi: Ernesto Panariello, Simon Lim, Davide Pelissero, Filippo Polinelli, Federico Sacchi, Luciano Montanaro

Link to Don Carlo at the Teatro alla Scala