Trivia / Giuseppe Verdi

  • Banned in China / Americans Hate Tingle: Even with its locale changed to Boston, Un Ballo in Maschera was never performed in Sweden until the 1920's. When it was performed there, the Swedish derided it as historically inaccurate.
  • Creator Breakdown: Verdi had his right at the beginning of his career. He was only in his twenties when his small son (Icilio) and daughter (Virginia), and then his first wife (Margherita Barezzi), all died within three years of each other. (Wooooow.) He was in the process of writing a comic opera, Un giorno di regno, at the time of Margherita's death, and not surprisingly, it wasn't a success. Bereavement compounded by failure upset him so that he decided to give up composing, but the manager of La Scala opera house persuaded him to just have a look at this libretto he had that needed music. Verdi glanced at it and found himself writing a bit of music. He did a bit more each day and ended up with Nabucco, his first major success.
  • Executive Meddling: The censors gave Verdi a hell of a time with many of his operas Most obvious with Gustave III (about the assassination of a king!), which after several rewrite-or-elses, and ultimately (when tempers on both sides had cooled) a compromise with the censors, became Un Ballo in Maschera.
  • Old Shame: Most of the operas that predate Rigoletto. Verdi himself considered Alzira very awful.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: Un giorno di regno (his second opera) and Falstaff (his last opera) are his only comedies.
  • What Could Have Been: Among others, he planned an opera based on King Lear and another on Victor Hugo's Ruy Blas.