[ITALIAN] [DRAMA] Giuseppe Verdi's librettos

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Post by Merione » June 29th, 2014, 6:58 am

I'd like to suggest a dramatic reading (not singing) of the opera librettos by Giuseppe Verdi, maybe the greatest and most famous Italian opera composer. I know that BCing this kind of works can be really tricky, so I'd like someone more experienced to do this. I'd like to read something, btw. :)

I've found this on archieve.org, so we don't have problems about PD:
It's a collection of all the librettos by Verdi, mostly in Italian, but also something in French. We just need to choose and start recording :)
Ps. I want to specify, for who doesn't know, that Giuseppe Verdi wrote only the music, the librettos themselves were written by other poets.

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Post by Availle » June 29th, 2014, 7:40 am

I'm really not sure whether this is truly in the public domain. On the first page it says (and I don't speak Italian...)
Tutti i libretti d'opera di
Giuseppe Verdi
Realizzazione: Ferdinando Cornetto ( ferdcomt65 @ virgilio.it)



Tutti i libretti di Verdi, a cura di Luigi Baldacci, Garzan-
ti, Milano, 2000 (5 a edizione), ISBN 88-11-41061-4

Giuseppe Verdi. Tutti i libretti d'opera, a cura di Piero
Mioli, I Big Newton, Newton Compton, Roma, 2001,
ISBN 88-8289-517-3
Numbers like this are usually not good at all, and most likely indicate that the book is still copyrighted, regardless of what the person who put it on archive says about the copyright status. (archive does not check copyright status - I could upload "Shades of Grey" and say it's pd...)

It would be better to try and find the originals of the librettos, obviously they are old enough, so there may be editions out there that are provably old enough for us :wink:

Finally - and I'm sorry to be blunt... - I can understand your enthousiasm for the original versions, but we have very few readers in both French and Italian, and putting together a drama/dramatic reading in those languages is extremely difficult and will take a very, very long time, even for very short plays with few roles (same in German, by the way). If you really want to see them done any time soon, you may want to find English translations of the texts.


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Post by Merione » June 29th, 2014, 7:56 am

Mmh... Those are references, books that the author consulted to write the collection. You are right, maybe that's not PD. It's better not to risk. I'll keep on searching. :) Maybe I can use this one as a guide and look for PD editions of the single librettos. :)

And, yes, I can understand the problem about readers. In Italy there are some associations about Verdi's music, so I was thinking about asking some of them in order to find readers, obviously volunteers. :)

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Post by ToddHW » July 1st, 2014, 9:17 am

I found English translations of Verdi librettos that were old enough to be PD in Archive. (Looking under the Libretist names.) I tried to offer the one act Johnny Skeechy (can't remember the Italian for that) a year or so ago after laughing my way through a performance of it (from the audience), but all the Italian names - even though the text was in English - seemed to frighten folks off so I withdrew it.

As another option, I found the original Belasco version of Madam Butterfly (and the original story version) that was then made into a opera a short time later. There might be more of those available, though of course they are very different things.

Thanks, Todd

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Post by Merione » July 1st, 2014, 10:07 am

I've looked for three of the most famous librettos and I've found editions in PD (checked the dates), all in Italian:
Aida: https://archive.org/stream/aidaoperainquatt00verd_1#page/n1/mode/2up
Nabucco: https://archive.org/details/nabucodonosordra00verd_5
Rigoletto: https://archive.org/stream/rigolettooperai01piavgoog#page/n3/mode/2up
I think that with a more in-depth search we can find PD editions of more librettos. So now our biggest problem is the lack of readers...

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Post by BellonaTimes » July 1st, 2014, 5:53 pm

If you have access to Google Books, there are several Verdi librettos -- such as La Traviata -- with both Italian and English on the same page, plus the music for arias if you want to hum along as you read ;) Just look them up via the Free E-books and 19th Century date filters. You can also find several of the same items on Archive. Pay attention to the publishers of the liberettos, which is a great way to find other composers' work.

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