Festival 2017 / The Muses of Verdi: Giuseppina Strepponi
THE MUSES OF VERDI: GIUSEPPINA STREPPONI
Teatro della Grancia
Friday, August 18, 2017, h 19.00
Soprano Silvia Dalla Benetta
Baritone Leon Kim
Piano Michele D'Elia
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
To imagine the life and career of Giuseppe Verdi without Giuseppina Strepponi is practically impossible. The celebrated singer was initially an acclaimed performer of some of his operas (Oberto conte di San Bonifacio, Nabucco, and Ernani), then passionate lover and subsequently beloved companion, adviser, collaborator and supporter. “And you haven’t written anything yet? You see? You haven’t got your poor, boring little thing in the corner of the room, snuggled up in the armchair telling you this is beautiful, creator – this not – Stop – repeat: this is original”, Strepponi wrote to Verdi in 1853, testifying to an extremely close relationship both personally and artistically. It was a partnership that lasted more than half a century, never disrupted by the dark clouds that there were: Strepponi’s troubled past, with her illegitimate children abandoned in Florence and, especially, Verdi’s passion for Teresa Stolz, which caused considerable pain to Peppina. A few hours before her death, in the Sant’Agata villa, Verdi brought her a flower picked from the garden and invited her to smell its perfume. She apologised to the maestro: “I can’t. I’ve got a bit of a cold”.
To re-evoke the figure of Giuseppina Strepponi, primadonna, in the inaugural concert of the fourth Solo Belcanto Festival, the soprano Silvia Dalla Benetta, the Festival’s artist-in-residence, and the pianist Michele D’Elia, both highly acclaimed last year for their recital in the Teatro della Grancia dedicated to Marietta Piccolomini. With them the Korean Leon Kim, one of the most interesting baritones of the new generation.