• Enjoy a rare performance of I Lombardi alla prima crociata alongside celebrated classics Rigoletto and Macbeth
• Visit locations associated with Verdi’s life and work, including his villa in Sant’Agata
• Make an excursion to Cremona, home of the violin, where master violinmaker Antonio Stradivari established his workshop in the early 1700s
Our 2020 tour incorporates three festival performances, providing an opportunity to experience both the diversity of the composer’s repertoire in the surroundings he knew so well, and his musical development over time.
A rarely staged musical treat, I Lombardi alla prima crociata follows in the grand historical footsteps of its predecessor Nabucco; the work enjoyed a similar level of popularity in its day, and continues to offer insights into the composer’s early development as a master of Italian opera.
Verdi’s breadth and versatility is further revealed in Rigoletto, based on a work by Victor Hugo, whose dark and heady tale of corrupted power, sacrifice and tragedy has captivated audiences for generations.
The climax of our tour, Macbeth, is of course one of Verdi’s best-known works, a masterpiece born of his love for Shakespeare and an intensely dramatic and exciting opera that “bristles with demonic energy” (in the words of London’s Royal Opera House). We will be fortunate enough to experience the special extended French language edition of the opera that Verdi created in 1865, which differs from the original in several ways and offers yet another intriguing glimpse into his evolution as a composer.
This tour will be led by John Bryden, MA, ARCM, ARCO, an international concert pianist, organist and music lecturer who has given concerts from California to Kathmandu via Wigmore Hall. John is a member of the Dartington Piano Duo and for many years coached at the Dartington International Summer School, where he performed in master-classes given by Jacqueline du Pré.