Friday, February 2, 2007

Verdi Monument: OMOM Essay 41

After hours of cranking through microfilm copies of Il Progresso Italo-Americano, whose editor spearheaded the fundraising for the Verdi Monument, I had found no explanation for why Aida, Leonora, Othello and Falstaff were chosen over Verdi's other characters to be represented on the Verdi Monument. At that point John Haralabopoulos, opera buff and member of the Forgotten Delights update list, became fascinated by the question, and did far more research than I would have had the knowledge or patience to do. I greatly enjoyed his reports of his findings at Lincoln Center and elsewhere.

“About the Subject” in Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan focuses how Verdi came to write “Va, pensiero" and why it became an Italian "national" anthem by the mid-19th c., decades before the peninsula was unified and independent.

Above: Aida. Below: Falstaff, Leonora, Otello.

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