Course overview

Verdi dominated Italian opera in the 19C with a series of highly dramatic works. He was an avid reader of literature and the great playwrights; most of his operas are derived from their works. His favourite writer was Shakespeare and he took great pride in his operatic settings of Macbeth, Othello and Falstaff. If you are a lover of Shakespeare, then you will learn how an operatic setting with its dramatic music and singing can provide an enhanced experience of these great dramas.

Course description

From the 20+ operas written by Verdi during his 50 year career, this course will focus on the three ‘Shakespeare’ operas written at key points in his life - Macbeth, Othello and Falstaff.

The course will tell the story of how these operas came to be written, with the latter two created after a long period of inactivity when no new operas were produced.

You will gain an insight into Verdi’s modus operandi, his obsession for detail and his love of Shakespeare.

To illustrate Verdi’s great dramatic skills, extensive audio and video excerpts from these works will be presented.

You will also learn about his fear of making an operatic setting of King Lear, which Verdi many times started but did not bring to fruition.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

Share this page:

Lady giving a thumbs up to her tablet as she watches a WEA member lecture
Image overlay triangle

Become a WEA member today

For just £15 per year, you can access many great benefits, including our award-winning weekly member lectures.

Need more information?

Need help? Complete our form and our friendly Support Services team will be back in touch.

Course contact
I am most interested in (tick all that apply)

How do we use the information we gather from you?
Please see our privacy policy.