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Title: The destructive and redemptive power of illusion : Verdi’s Shakespearean tragedy Otello
Authors: Frendo, Maria
Keywords: Verdi, Giuseppe, 1813-1901. Otello
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Othello
Verdi, Giuseppe, 1813-1901. Operas
Opera -- 19th century
Choral music -- 19th century
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Frendo, M. (2013). The destructive and redemptive power of illusion: Verdi’s Shakespearean tragedy Otello. Mediterranea 2013, 17-27
Abstract: Verdi states most unequivocally that Shakespeare was not only an enduring presence in his life but was also had a formative influence. He states that Shakespeare is “a favourite poet of mine, whom I had had in my hands from earliest youth and whom I read and reread constantly”.3 The great Italian composer was not only a superb musician but he was also widely read in a variety of literary works that came out of Western Europe. He found in Maffei and Carcano excellent mentors and, with his judicious eye (or is it ear?) he recognised operatic potential when he saw it. The follower of Donizetti and Bellini, he is captivated by the bizarre and the confrontational. So, we find Attila the Hun conspiring with Aetius, the Roman general in a reworking of Werner’s Attila. There is also Lina, who has cheated on her husband, a Lutheran pastor (of all professions), who prostrates herself at his feet halfway through a church service in Stiffelio, an adaptation of Souvestre and Bourgeois’ Le Pasteur. Verdi is also uniquely fascinated by powerful characters. A Triboulet, a Lady Macbeth, an Amneris, will take over his creative fantasy for a long time, sometimes, years, finding their life histories irresistible.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtEng

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