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2 - A Futura Memoria: Verdi’s Attila, 1951

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 August 2018

Harriet Boyd-Bennett
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
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Summary

Chapter Two looks at the ways in which the revival of Verdi’s Attila (1846), as part of the 1951 Venice festival, marked a high point in a year of events to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the composer’s death. The performance of a long-neglected opera by the nation’s favourite composer became a locus for Verdian discussion that year. In particular, the opera formed part of a broader concern with posterity, something that became a growing cultural fixation of the immediate postwar period. Furthermore, critics claimed that this was the moment when Verdi’s image and his music became politicised. This chapter explores the ideological and historical stakes in this particular case study of Verdian commemoration, and suggests that opera at this moment served as a focus for ideas of national loss and historical rewriting, of nostalgia and emotion.
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Opera in Postwar Venice
Cultural Politics and the Avant-Garde
, pp. 61 - 90
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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