This Sunday, I will be speaking about blogging and the Verdi anniversary on a panel at Verdi’s Third Century, a conference put on by the American Institute for Verdi Studies (at New York University). In the spirit of blogging, this discussion wouldn’t be complete without your thoughts! I would like to talk about how the Verdi anniversary has been recognized outside academia, and would love to hear your thoughts, recent Verdi experiences, and so on (comment at the bottom of this post!).
(I am also giving a formal paper about ritual and repetition in Verdi production. Sorry, you can’t contribute to that one unless you show up to ask a question afterwards.)
I asked around on Twitter a few days ago and got some interesting thoughts. Many immediately confirmed my initial suspicion: Verdi Year mostly means seeing more Verdi. Verdi is at the core of most modern opera houses, and a few more Traviatas and maybe a Stiffelio tend to sneak into people’s schedules without a major fuss.
First: a lesson on social media. I put this question up around 8:30 in the morning, before I started work. No one responded. A few hours later I wondered out loud if that meant no one cared, and it turned out I was just too early, and suddenly everyone wanted to chat (this explains the tweet everyone is responding to below). Thanks to a retweet from the Royal Opera House, I got a lot of British responses.
As Lucy put it,
For some people this was not entirely welcome:
There’s also the 800-pound gorilla: Wagner. Verdi had competition, and seems to have been the less recognized of the two.
I suspect there’s a different kind of engagement between Wagner and Verdi audiences. Wagner audiences form societies and go to conferences (I went to a Wagner conference in January that had a handful of non-academics who flew to South Carolina just to hear papers about Wagner), while Verdi audiences tend to just go to operas. I liked Ruth’s theory on this:
This was backed up by some of the other responses:
What has Verdi done for you recently? Please leave a comment or email me at likelyimpossibilities at gmail.com.