Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Slow beginnings2018041620190527 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Monday's episode, Donald explores Verdi's youth and early musical experiences in Busetto including the Busseto "civil war" which erupted over his proposed appointment to the post of town music master and organist, his marriage to Margherita Barezzi - the daughter of his patron, and the early operas he produced for La Scala in Milan which would make his name.

La Forza del Destino - Overture
Philharmonia Orchestra
Giuseppe Sinopoli (conductor)

Tantum Ergo in G
Kenneth Tarver (tenor)
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)

Deh, pietoso, oh addolorata
Renata Scotto (soprano)
Vincenzo Scalera (piano)

Simon Boccanegra - Act 1 - Orfanella il tetto umile m'accogliea d'una meschina... ; Figlia! A tal nome io palpito
Kristine Opolais (Amelia)
Thomas Hampson (Doge)
Wiener Symphoniker
Massimo Zanetti (conductor)

Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio - Act 2 - Eccolo!; Vili all'armi a donne eroi

Samuel Ramey (Oberto)
Maria Guleghina (Leonora)
Violeta Urmana (Cuniza)
Stuart Neill (Riccardo)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
London Voices
Neville Marriner (conductor)

Nabucco - Act 2 - Chi s'avanza
Renata Scotto (Abigaille)
Robert Lloyd (Gran Sacerdote)
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra
Riccardo Muti (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips

Donald Macleod explores Verdi's youth and early musical experiences in Busetto and Milan.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03The heights of success2018041820190529 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Wednesday's programme, Donald focuses on the three hugely popular Operas which Verdi wrote in the early 1850s - Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata, works which all have highly controversial subject matters.

Stiffelio - Overture
Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala
Riccardo Muti (conductor)

Rigoletto - Act 3 - E l'ami?; La donna e mobile; Un di, se ben rammentomi; Bella figlia dell'amore
Maria Callas (Gilda)
Tito Gobbi (Rigoletto)
Giuseppe di Stefano (Il Duca)
Adriana Lazzarini (Maddalena)
La Scala Milan Chorus & Orchestra
Tullio Serafin (cond)

Il Trovatore - Act 2 - Vedi! Le fosche notturne spoglie (Anvil Chorus); Stride la vampa; Mesta e la tua canzon!
Elena Zaremba (Azucena)
Andrea Boceli (manrico)
Salvatore Todaro (uno zingaro)
Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania
Steven Mercurio (cond)

La Traviata - Act 1 - Prelude; Dell'invito trascorsa è già l'ora; Libiamo ne'lieti calici; Che è ciò?; Un dì felice, eterea; Ebben? che diavol fate?; Si ridesta in ciel l'aurora
Frank Lopardo (Alfredo)
Robin Leggate (Gastone)
Angela Gheorghiu (Violetta)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Georg Solti (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips

Donald Macleod explores the hugely popular operas Verdi wrote in the early 1850s.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04Politics2018041920190530 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Thursday's programme, Donald explores Verdi's ties with politics, investigating his involvement with the risorgimento movement in Italy, and works which show him in a broadly political light.

Inno delle Nazioni (Hymn of the nations)
Richard Margison (tenor)
Canadian Opera Company Chorus and Orchestra
Richard Bradshaw (conductor)

La Battaglia di Legnano - Act 4 - Deus meus, pone illos ut rotam; Vittoria! Vittoria!; Per la salvata Italia
Katia Ricciarelli (Lida)
Ann Murray (Imelda)
Dimitri Kavrakos (Secondo Console)
Jose Carreras (Arrigo)
Matteo Manuguerra (Rolando)
ORF Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Vienna
Lamberto Gardelli (conductor)

Il Brigidino
Renatta Scotto (soprano)
Vincenzo Scalera (piano)

Don Carlo (1884 Four Act Version) - Act 3 - Ella giammai m'amò; Il Grand'Inquisitor!
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Filippo II)
Ruggero Raimondi (Il Grande Inquisitore)
Horst Nitsche (Count of Lerma)
Berlin Philharmonic
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)

Pieta Signor
Michele Pertusi (bass-baritone)
Parma Opera Ensemble

Producer: Sam Phillips

Donald Macleod charts Verdi's involvement with politics.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

05A final fling2018042020190531 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In the final programme of the week, Donald explores Verdi's final years, when after his Requiem, he made a surprise operatic comeback, and he developed a complex relationship with a young singer named Teresa Stolz.

Aida - Act 3 - Qui Radames verra!; O patria mia; Ciel! mipo padre!; Rivedrai le foreste imbalsamate; In armi ora si desta il popol nostro; Padre, a costoro schiava non sono
Eleonora Buratto (Sacerdoti)
Marco Spotti (Re)
Jonas Kaufmann (Radamès)
Erwin Schrott (Ramfis)
Ludovic Tezier (Amonasro)
Anja Harteros (Aida)
Orchestra and Chorus Dell'Academia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
Sir Antonio Pappano (conductor)

Requiem - Libera me
Anja Harteros (soprano)
Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala
Daniel Barenboim (conductor)

Otello - Act 1 - Una vela! Una vela!; Esultate!
Giacomo Prestia (Montano)
Ramon Vargas (Cassio)
Sergei Leiferkus (Jago)
Michael Schade (Roderigo)
Placido Domingo (Otello)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Bastille Opera
Myung-Whun Chung (cond)

Falstaff - Act 3 - Facciamo il parentado; Tutto nel mondo e burla
Soloists led by Bryn Terfel
Berlin Radio Choir
Berlin Philharmonic
Claudio Abbado (cond)

Nabucco - Act 3 - Va pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves)
Westminster Choir
NBC Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Toscanini (cond)

Producer: Sam Phillips.

Donald Macleod explores Verdi's final years.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201801Slow Beginnings2018041620190527 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Monday's episode, Donald explores Verdi's youth and early musical experiences in Busetto including the Busseto "civil war" which erupted over his proposed appointment to the post of town music master and organist, his marriage to Margherita Barezzi - the daughter of his patron, and the early operas he produced for La Scala in Milan which would make his name.

La Forza del Destino - Overture
Philharmonia Orchestra
Giuseppe Sinopoli (conductor)

Tantum Ergo in G
Kenneth Tarver (tenor)
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)

Deh, pietoso, oh addolorata
Renata Scotto (soprano)
Vincenzo Scalera (piano)

Simon Boccanegra - Act 1 - Orfanella il tetto umile m'accogliea d'una meschina... ; Figlia! A tal nome io palpito
Kristine Opolais (Amelia)
Thomas Hampson (Doge)
Wiener Symphoniker
Massimo Zanetti (conductor)

Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio - Act 2 - Eccolo!; Vili all'armi a donne eroi

Samuel Ramey (Oberto)
Maria Guleghina (Leonora)
Violeta Urmana (Cuniza)
Stuart Neill (Riccardo)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
London Voices
Neville Marriner (conductor)

Nabucco - Act 2 - Chi s'avanza
Renata Scotto (Abigaille)
Robert Lloyd (Gran Sacerdote)
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra
Riccardo Muti (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips

Donald Macleod explores Verdi's youth and early musical experiences in Busetto and Milan.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201802Giuseppina Strepponi2018041720190528 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Tuesday's episode, Donald explores Verdi's long relationship with the singer Giuseppina Strepponi as the composer's fame began to spread throughout Italy and further afield in Europe, a period during which he travelled greatly, spending time in Paris, and throughout Italy where newspaper reports of his death lead to claims of poisoning by a rival composer.

Nabucco - Act 1 - Viva Nabucco!
Chorus and Orchestra of the German Opera, Berlin
Giuseppe Sinopoli (conductor)

Ernani - Act 1 - Ernani, ernani...; Tutto sprezzo
Joan Sutherland (Elvira)
Orchestra & Chorus of Welsh National Opera
Richard Bonynge (conductor)

Macbeth - Act 4 - Gran Scena del Sonnabulismo - "Vegliammo invan due notti"; "una Macchia..."
Shirley Verrett (Lady Macbeth)
Anna Caterina Antonacci (Dama)
Sergio Fontana (Medico)
Orchestra & Chorus of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)

Jerusalem - Act 2 - Helene!... O ciel! Gaston!; Une pensee amere... Aux armes!
Jose Careras
Katia Ricciarelli
RAI Orchestra & Chorus
Gianandrea Gavazzeni (conductor)

Un Ballo in Maschera - Act 2 - Ma dall'arido stelo divulsa; Teco io sto.... M'ami m'ami
Margaret Price (Amelia)
Luciano Pavarotti (Riccardo)
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Georg Solti (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips

Donald Macleod explores Verdi's long relationship with singer Giuseppina Strepponi.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Tuesday's episode, Donald explores Verdi's long relationship with the singer Giuseppina Strepponi as the composer's fame began to spread throughout Italy and further afield in Europe, a period during which he travelled greatly, spending time in Paris, and throughout Italy where newspaper reports of his death lead to claims of poisoning by a rival composer.

Nabucco - Act 1 - Viva Nabucco!
Chorus and Orchestra of the German Opera, Berlin
Giuseppe Sinopoli (conductor)

Ernani - Act 1 - Ernani, ernani...; Tutto sprezzo
Joan Sutherland (Elvira)
Orchestra & Chorus of Welsh National Opera
Richard Bonynge (conductor)

Macbeth - Act 4 - Gran Scena del Sonnabulismo - "Vegliammo invan due notti"; "una Macchia..."
Shirley Verrett (Lady Macbeth)
Anna Caterina Antonacci (Dama)
Sergio Fontana (Medico)
Orchestra & Chorus of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)

Jerusalem - Act 2 - Helene!... O ciel! Gaston!; Une pensee amere... Aux armes!
Jose Careras
Katia Ricciarelli
RAI Orchestra & Chorus
Gianandrea Gavazzeni (conductor)

Un Ballo in Maschera - Act 2 - Ma dall'arido stelo divulsa; Teco io sto.... M'ami m'ami
Margaret Price (Amelia)
Luciano Pavarotti (Riccardo)
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Georg Solti (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips

Donald Macleod explores Verdi's long relationship with singer Giuseppina Strepponi.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201803The Heights Of Success2018041820190529 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Wednesday's programme, Donald focuses on the three hugely popular Operas which Verdi wrote in the early 1850s - Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata, works which all have highly controversial subject matters.

Stiffelio - Overture
Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala
Riccardo Muti (conductor)

Rigoletto - Act 3 - E l'ami?; La donna e mobile; Un di, se ben rammentomi; Bella figlia dell'amore
Maria Callas (Gilda)
Tito Gobbi (Rigoletto)
Giuseppe di Stefano (Il Duca)
Adriana Lazzarini (Maddalena)
La Scala Milan Chorus & Orchestra
Tullio Serafin (cond)

Il Trovatore - Act 2 - Vedi! Le fosche notturne spoglie (Anvil Chorus); Stride la vampa; Mesta e la tua canzon!
Elena Zaremba (Azucena)
Andrea Boceli (manrico)
Salvatore Todaro (uno zingaro)
Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania
Steven Mercurio (cond)

La Traviata - Act 1 - Prelude; Dell'invito trascorsa è già l'ora; Libiamo ne'lieti calici; Che è ciò?; Un dì felice, eterea; Ebben? che diavol fate?; Si ridesta in ciel l'aurora
Frank Lopardo (Alfredo)
Robin Leggate (Gastone)
Angela Gheorghiu (Violetta)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Georg Solti (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips

Donald Macleod explores the hugely popular operas Verdi wrote in the early 1850s.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201804Politics2018041920190530 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In Thursday's programme, Donald explores Verdi's ties with politics, investigating his involvement with the risorgimento movement in Italy, and works which show him in a broadly political light.

Inno delle Nazioni (Hymn of the nations)
Richard Margison (tenor)
Canadian Opera Company Chorus and Orchestra
Richard Bradshaw (conductor)

La Battaglia di Legnano - Act 4 - Deus meus, pone illos ut rotam; Vittoria! Vittoria!; Per la salvata Italia
Katia Ricciarelli (Lida)
Ann Murray (Imelda)
Dimitri Kavrakos (Secondo Console)
Jose Carreras (Arrigo)
Matteo Manuguerra (Rolando)
ORF Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Vienna
Lamberto Gardelli (conductor)

Il Brigidino
Renatta Scotto (soprano)
Vincenzo Scalera (piano)

Don Carlo (1884 Four Act Version) - Act 3 - Ella giammai m'amò; Il Grand'Inquisitor!
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Filippo II)
Ruggero Raimondi (Il Grande Inquisitore)
Horst Nitsche (Count of Lerma)
Berlin Philharmonic
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)

Pieta Signor
Michele Pertusi (bass-baritone)
Parma Opera Ensemble

Producer: Sam Phillips

Donald Macleod charts Verdi's involvement with politics.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201805A Final Fling2018042020190531 (R3)

Few composers have made their mark on the world of opera like Giuseppe Verdi. He wrote a host of eminently hummable tunes as he rose to fame, paralleling the growing sense of identity which Italy was forging for itself in the 19th century, and establishing himself as the most successful Italian composer of his generation. Tracing his life is riddled with difficulties however, due to the artistic licence Verdi himself used when taking about his own history. Donald Macleod pieces together the truths as he traces Verdi's life and music and finds a story of shrewd investments, run-ins with the authorities, driving ambition, and emotional tragedy.
In the final programme of the week, Donald explores Verdi's final years, when after his Requiem, he made a surprise operatic comeback, and he developed a complex relationship with a young singer named Teresa Stolz.

Aida - Act 3 - Qui Radames verra!; O patria mia; Ciel! mipo padre!; Rivedrai le foreste imbalsamate; In armi ora si desta il popol nostro; Padre, a costoro schiava non sono
Eleonora Buratto (Sacerdoti)
Marco Spotti (Re)
Jonas Kaufmann (Radamès)
Erwin Schrott (Ramfis)
Ludovic Tezier (Amonasro)
Anja Harteros (Aida)
Orchestra and Chorus Dell'Academia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
Sir Antonio Pappano (conductor)

Requiem - Libera me
Anja Harteros (soprano)
Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala
Daniel Barenboim (conductor)

Otello - Act 1 - Una vela! Una vela!; Esultate!
Giacomo Prestia (Montano)
Ramon Vargas (Cassio)
Sergei Leiferkus (Jago)
Michael Schade (Roderigo)
Placido Domingo (Otello)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Bastille Opera
Myung-Whun Chung (cond)

Falstaff - Act 3 - Facciamo il parentado; Tutto nel mondo e burla
Soloists led by Bryn Terfel
Berlin Radio Choir
Berlin Philharmonic
Claudio Abbado (cond)

Nabucco - Act 3 - Va pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves)
Westminster Choir
NBC Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Toscanini (cond)

Producer: Sam Phillips.

Donald Macleod explores Verdi's final years.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.