Woman Is Fickle: a Modern Comparison

In: Film and Music

Submitted By mac0042
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Woman is Fickle: A Modern Comparison
By
Jonathon Davis

Dr. Michael J. Pendowski
Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
November 13th, 2010

Verdi’s “La donna è mobile,” translated into “Woman is fickle”, puts onto display many popular key musical elements of the 19th century that are still very much alive in today’s modern music. Giuseppe Verdi utilizes several trends in music of the day to create the masterpiece that we still recognize today, despite the immense time gap. The piece is written about a woman whose mind constantly changes direction and leaves her admirers constantly pursuing in vain.
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was an Italian world class composer of operas during the height of the Romantic period. This piece is widely considered his most notable work, but considering all of his great operas still performed to this day, to place anything as his “most notable” would be an understatement. His career took off with Nabucco, which he wrote after the death of his children and wife, and was able to write masterpiece after masterpiece, even into his twilight years. Verdi died with twenty-eight operas on his resume, many of which are still performed today. Most of Verdi’s inspiration came from the works of Shakespeare, with the opera Macbeth as an example. Verdi also incorporated political messages into his operas, as Italy was leaving Austrian Hapsburg rule at the time. A chorus of Nabucco is still considered an Italian patriotic theme.
The opera that this piece is from, Rigoletto, premiered in Venice in 1951, and is easily one of his greatest masterpieces. The opera is about a jester who has a curse placed on him by a man whose daughter was seduced by the Duke of the court with the help of Rigoletto. Rigoletto’s daughter is then seduced by the Duke, and Rigoletto decides to hire assassins to kill the Duke. The curse comes full circle when the daughter…...

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