The operas of Giuseppe Verdi stand at the center of today's operatic repertoire, and have done so for more than a century. The story of how the reputation and wide appeal of these operas spread from Western Europe throughout the world has long needed to be told. This latest book by noted Verdi authority George W. Martin, ‘Verdi in America: Oberto through Rigoletto’, specifically details the changing fortunes of Verdi's early operas in the theaters and concert halls of the United States. Among the important works whose fates Martin traces are ‘Nabucco’, ‘Attila’, ‘Ernani’, Macbeth’ (in its original version), ‘Luisa Miller’, and one of Verdi's immortal masterpieces: ‘Rigoletto,’ denounced in 1860 as the epitome of immorality. Martin also explores the astonishing revival of many of these operas in the 1940s and onward (including ‘Macbeth’ in its revised version of 1865), and the first American productions-sometimes in small opera houses outside the main circuit-of some Verdi operas that had never previously managed to cross the Atlantic. Extensive quotations from newspaper reviews testify to the eventual triumph of these remarkable works. They also reveal the crucial shifts in tastes and expectations that have occurred from Verdi's day to our own. Independent scholar George W. Martin is the author of several books on Italian opera, including ‘Verdi, His Music, Life and Times, Verdi at the Golden Gate: Opera and San Francisco in the Golden Rush Years,’ and ‘Aspects of Verdi’.
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