« All News

Early Verdi: Opera League Seminar

I was delighted to have been invited back by the Opera League of Los Angeles (OLLA) to lead one of their season seminars, this time to discuss the creative arc from Nabucco to Rigoletto, masterpieces of Verdi’s early period.

The OLLA seminars (open to non-members as well) are unique experiences in terms of “preconcert learning,” usually combining some live performance with more extended lectures. For this particular seminar, I delved into the experiences of a very young Giuseppe Verdi, whose Nabucco represented a committed return to creative life after the mortifying failure of his second opera, Un giorno di regno, and the loss of his entire family—his wife and two young children—to illness. Not only was Nabucco proof of Verdi’s artistic force, but the title role also inaugurated the composer’s love affair with the baritone voice, a fascination which would find even more compelling expression in iconic roles such as Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra, Iago, and Falstaff.

Find out more