Stanford Libraries’ rare score of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida provides clues to the past

Jul 17, 2017 295

BY: ALEX SHASHKEVICH

A rare, orchestral score of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida has become a valuable source of instruction and inspiration for Stanford scholars. The handwritten manuscript, used in Aida’s Paris premiere in 1876, appears to be the earliest surviving copy of the famous opera’s full score – and the only surviving score from a performance conducted by Verdi – said Heather Hadlock, associate professor of music. The 1876 Paris performance featured the same singers whom Verdi had personally chosen and coached for the lead roles of Aida and her rival, Amneris, in the 1872 Milan premiere.

“This is a very special artifact,” said Hadlock, who specializes in French and Italian opera. “It’s an essential link to the opera’s original form as presented in Cairo and Milan.”The score used during the opera’s 1871 premiere in Cairo was destroyed in a fire. No other copies of the full score used in performances across Europe and America before 1876 are yet known to researchers, Hadlock said.

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SOURCE: http://news.stanford.edu

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