Giuseppe Verdi

Overture to La forza del destino

            The nineteenth century was an opera-mad time.  With most composers giving it a shot, simply because, as Willie Sutton famously said, “That’s where the money is.”  And fame, too.  However many were composed, the operatic field was dominated by two artists who still are at the top of the repertoire:  Wagner and Verdi.  But that’s about all that these two luminaries had in common.  Their differences are legion.  It suffices to say that Wagner was not exactly a loyal, solid family man, whereas Verdi stuck with his wife and simple country home to the end of his long life.   Wagner was a cosmopolitan man of the world, and Verdi was the only major composer who was a dedicated farmer.  There’s more, but the important differences lay in the nature of their operas.