Giuseppe Verdi's Adaptation To Opera

1252 Words 6 Pages
There have been many successful and unsuccessful attempts at adapting Shakespeare’s works into opera. Though modern composers such as Benjamin Britten and Thomas Adès have set Shakespeare’s original words to music, with few changes if any, the most famous operatic adaptations over time have proved to be Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello and Macbeth. In these works, Verdi manages to keep the intent of Shakespeare and the overall plot of the play, yet molds the details of the story to be more suitable for the opera house. However, in between the composing of these two opera’s, he sought to put another of Shakespeare’s masterpieces to music: King Lear.
There are several questions I will address in my paper about the failed production of a Verdian King
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Verdi chooses to replace “Poor Tom” with the peasant who offers Lear shelter in the rain. However, there is no way to rectify Edgar’s importance in the final scene: In Shakespeare’s play, Albany and Edgar take the throne in Lear’s stead, providing a solid ending to the piece, though tragedy has taken the lives of the rest of the characters. But this conclusion is not needed in an opera. In fact, Verdi concluded his Otello with the death of the title character rather than the resolution offered in the …show more content…
But why was this never achieved? According to Gary Schmigdal, who has translated a large portion of his letters to Somma and other collaborating artists, we may never know why exactly the Re Lear opera was never fully realised. Verdi did however seem to run into many complications: Somma died several years after the libretto was completed, and he was unable to find a suitable cast to which he could tailor the score. He was adamant in his vision not only for the voice types but for the portrayal of the characters, demanding specific singers who could not be provided by the San Carlo

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