Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

Trip through Time / Farm Nourished Composer's Creativity: Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) in Sant'Agata

Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

Trip through Time / Farm Nourished Composer's Creativity: Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) in Sant'Agata

Article excerpt

SANT'AGATA, Italy--The rolling pastures of Sant'Agata in northern Italy are dotted with farmhouses, stables and vineyards.

Giuseppe Verdi, the famous Italian opera composer, spent his later years in a villa there, nestled in a hamlet of only 100 people.

On the first floor of the elegant, yellow-tinted villa, one can view the desk and piano where Verdi composed, laid out just as they were in his day. With the wind blowing through the branches of a willow tree outside, one can imagine Verdi sitting here, creating some of his most famous operas, including "La traviata" and "Aida."

Verdi devoted himself to the study of music in Milan until he won wide spread renown with "Nabucco" at age 28. Over the next five years, he traveled around Europe, putting on performances in London, Paris and other major cities.

He was known to spend all day at the theater before a performance, giving instructions to singers and the orchestra, directing and choosing costumes.

When he went out, he was followed by newspaper reporters hoping to get a glimpse into his private life.

It was around this time when Verdi purchased a 100-hectare farm in Sant'Agata, near his birthplace. By age 30, he was exhausted from performing in big cities and wanted a quiet place to work.

But composing was not the only thing that occupied his time on the farm.

"He didn't mind if people criticized his music, but he couldn't stand complaints about the farm," said Angelo Carrara, a descendant of the composer who lives in the villa.

His wife, Giuseppina, surprised at the passion with which he took to raising crops, called him "eccentric."

Verdi continued expanding the farm, eventually accumulating about 670 hectares to produce wheat and grapes through the labor of about 200 workers.

He would wake up early to check on his fields in a horse-drawn carriage. Even when he was away for performances, he sent letters back to the farm with instructions on animal feed and felling trees. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.