Verdi, Per il "re" Lear, 1

Verdi, Per il "re" Lear, 2

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Verdi. Per il “Re Lear”
Facsimile dell’autografo a cura di Gabriella Carrara Verdi

  Istituto di Studi Verdiani, Parma, 2002
Format: 29 x 42  cm,
194 pp

Deluxe facsimile—issued on the occasion of the centenary of Verdi’s death—reproducing all the surviving source material for Lear, mainly the heavily marked-up libretto drafts of Cammarano and Somma, as well as pertinent correpondence, including full transcriptions. Sometimes referred to as the composer’s “missing masterpiece”, Verdi first thought of making an operatic King Lear in June of 1843. In 1848, after Cammarano agreed to do the libretto, Verdi writes to him: “Re Lear as a play is so vast and interwoven that it would seem to be impossible to fashion an opera from it. But, examining it closely it seems that the challenges, though large, are not insurmountable. You know that you should not treat this play using forms and methods that are familiar, but rather should treat it in an entirely new manner, one that is vast and shows no regard for customary forms”. Unfortunately Cammarano’s first draft turned out to be unwieldy and when the librettist died in 1852 Verdi turned to Antonio Somma to revise it. There were various roadblocks, one was who would sing the role. In a letter of 1853 Verdi states, to do Re Lear, “one would need an artist baritone in every sense of that phrase, for example, as was Giorgio Ronconi”. Yet Ronconi was not performing. Presumably Verdi did write some music for Lear and when the Paris Opera approached him in 1865 the idea of Lear was considered: “Re Lear is magnificent, sublime, pathetic, but it does not have enough scenic splendor for the Paris Opera.” (Don Carlo was chosen instead). Beautiful bibliophile edition, limited to 420 copies, printed on fine natural paper, with marbled paper boards and linen spine. (text adapted from Fred Plotkin).
Verdi, Per il "re" Lear, 3 plus cover

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