Anyone familiar with opera must have heard of the name Giuseppe Verdi. He was an iconic Italian composer who is well known for his classic operas. Even though he has come up with many works, he is mostly known for his masterpiece Rigoletto in which the title role was later played and made a huge hit by Italian baritone magician Leo Nucci.
In this world that is dominated by dramatic Italian baritones, Nucci was able to achieve stardom through his elegant and attractive baritone. He was able to carve a separate space for himself in the dynamic world of Opera by effortlessly recreating Verdi’s characters that require baritone singers, which made him one of the most sought-after figures of all the major conductors.
Now let us look at some of the iconic Verdi characters portrayed by Leo Nucci that made him an unchallenged figure in the world of opera.
Rigoletto is an opera by Verdi that was made in three acts. Based on the play Le roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo, the opera has become a huge hit in Italian theatres. This is a tragic story that revolves around an immoral Duke of Mantua, his hunchback court comedian Rigoletto, and his daughter Gilda. In the story, Rigoletto encourages the duke to seduce the daughter of a courtier and later puts a curse on the duke. The curse has a tragic ending as the daughter of Rigoletto fall in love with the Duke and sacrifices her life to save the Duke from the assassins her father hired.
Leo Nucci played the character of the title role Rigoletto and gave life to this not-so-good protagonist of Verdi.
Another masterpiece by Verdi that changed the course of Italian opera is Macbeth. Based on the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, this opera in four acts has some additions by Andrea Maffei. This was the first of the Macbeth play that was adapted by Verdi for the stage. With the huge success of operas like Rigoletto, La traviata, and Macbeth, Verdi was able to taste success. In later years, Verdi adapted several Shakespeare plays including King Lear, Othello, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Even though many people portrayed the character of Verdi’s Macbeth, no one was able to do justice to the role as Nucci did.
Based on the play by Antonio Garcia Gutierrez, Verdi has created another magic through Il trovatore. This opera in four acts is defiant of flamboyant and melodramatic Aristotelian Unities. This was one of the most successful works that made him the focal point of Italian Opera. And later Leo Nucci depicted the central role with so much perfection that we can consider his performance an homage to Verdi. You can look into these performances of Leo Nucci to understand his mastery and commitment to Operas.