Verdi, like most great opera composers, attached supreme importance to the words he was setting to music.
The listener, to understand the opera fully, should understand the situations, the shades of emotion, the nuances of characterization described in the music. William Weaver's translations of seven of the greatest Verdi operas are designed for maximum fidelity to the immediate word. Eschewing artistic renderings, Mr. Weaver offers, on facing pages, exact translations and the corresponding Italian text. The operas chosen for this edition represent Verdi's major achievements in each of the significant periods of his creative life: the first trio of masterpieces, Rigoletto
, Il Trovatore
, and La Traviata
; Un ballo in maschera
from the middle period; Otello
, the great late works. The music student as well as the opera buff will find this volume a very useful guide to Verdi's world.