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The Life of Verdi TV-Series Italy/UK 1982

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“Sumptuously costumed and splendidly staged, this elaborate cinematic biography blends documentary with drama to tell the story of a great artistic genius who became the musical voice of a nation.”* Booklist. Filmed on location in Italy, Leningrad, London, and Paris, this epic mini-series took several years to create, requiring more than 100 actors, 1800 extras, and 4000 costumes. This uncut version dubbed in English is 4 hours longer than the edited version that originally aired on Public Television to great acclaim. This spectacular film is filled with Verdi’s glorious music, sung in the original Italian and taken from past recordings featuring such operatic legends as Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, and Birgit Nilsson. Stars Ronald Pickup, who plays Verdi with a “subdued, dignified passion” and Carla Fracci, the famed Italian ballerina, who is “absolutely superb” as Giuseppina Strepponi, Verdi’s second wife (Clive Barnes).

1. Episode 1
Giuseppe Verdi is born in 1813 to a provincial family. At a young age, his exceptional talent for music becomes clear to all around him.

2. Episode 2
Verdi and Margherita build a family while Verdi pursues his music education. His connections in the cultural hub of Milan provide new opportunities and encourage him to compose his first opera.

3. Episode 3
As Verdi’s opera Nabucco debuts in Milan, Giuseppina’s voice deteriorates further, and the two grow closer together.

4. Episode 4
Verdi and Giuseppina Strepponi are living together as he continues writing operas. But when the 1848 French revolution begins, its effects stretch across Europe.

5. Episode 5
Verdi’s talent earns him fame and a number of accolades, including the French Legion of Honour. During rehearsals of Il Trovatore, Verdi begins work on La Traviata, but his muse escapes him.

6. Episode 6
All around Verdi the times are changing. With new technology and the Bohemian cultural movement sweeping across Italy, he tries to find his place in the new era.

7. Episode 7
Following the success of Aida, Verdi mourns the loss of Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni-a man he greatly admired-and writes a requiem in his honor. Giuseppina fears Verdi may have found a new muse.

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