Verdi’s big week in history

by | Mar 7, 2021 | Featured, News

As it turns out, readers, the month of March is a big one for Giuseppe Verdi. Packed into a six-day span are the anniversaries of the premieres of some of his most extraordinary works. So, it’s time to celebrate, alla canadese, with a few glimpses of Canadian opera singers, making good on Verdi’s scores:

La traviata: March 6, 1853, Teatro La Fenice, Venice

Have a listen to Canadian-Lebanese soprano Joyce El-Khoury, as she sings Violetta’s “Addio del passato” from La traviata:

Ernani, March 9, 1844, Théâtre des Italians, Paris

Listen for Canadian tenor Richard Margison in the title role of Verdi’s Ernani, singing the final trio alongside Nelly Miricioiu as Elvira and Alastair Miles as Silva:

Nabucco, March 9, 1842, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

If there’s a sure hit from Verdi’s Nabucco, it’s the chorus, “Va, pensiero”. Here’s a glimpse of Canadian maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra:

Rigoletto, March 11, 1851, Teatro La Fenice, Venice

Sure, we could re-introduce you to Canada’s own Mr. Rigoletto (or Louis Quilico, as he’s slightly better known), but we’re also loving this short clip of Canadian soprano Marie-Eve Munger singing Gilda’s aria, “Caro nome” at Minnesota Opera:

Don Carlos, March 11, 1867, Paris Opera

Sometimes, a Verdi aria just needs a little larger-than-life–and Jon Vickers has it in spades in this rendition of “Io la vidi e al suo sorriso” from Don Carlo. (And for the keeners: it’s true that this truncated and transposed version of the aria appears only in the Italian, 4-act version of Don Carlo, even though we’re celebrating the anniversary of the premiere of the French, 5-act version, Don Carlos. It’s still a great listen.)

Simon Boccanegra, March 12, 1857, Teatro La Fenice

The jury may be out on Domingo’s foray into Verdi baritone land, but no one is questioning the sounds coming out of Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, as she sings Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra, alongside Marcello Giordani as Adorno and Domingo in the title role:


Readers, what are your picks for Canadians singing Verdi? Let us know in the comments, or get in touch at!

Jenna Simeonov

Jenna is the editor and co-creator of Schmopera. She also writes for The Globe and Mail and Opera Canada. She’s a pianist and vocal coach, and working with singers is how she fell in love with opera.



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