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The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi$
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Abramo Basevi and Stefano Castelvecchi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226094915

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226095073.001.0001

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(p.75) 6 Alzira
The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi

Abramo Basevi

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes Verdi's Alzira, first performed in August 1845 at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. The libretto by poet Cammarano was taken from Voltaire's tragedy Alzire—a subject that was no better suited to the operatic stage than was that of Giovanna d'Arco. It argues that while this unfortunate opera made some effort to stand on its feet, its congenital paralysis was incurable, such that it soon fell “as a dead body falls”.

Keywords:   Verdi, opera, Italian composers, Cammarano, libretto, Voltaire

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