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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
A Musical Lear
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1236  Friday, 25 May 2001

From:           Stephen Dobbin <
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Date:           Fri, 25 May 2001 13:24:27 +0100 (BST)
Subject:        A Musical Lear

Tom Dale Keever suggests that if 'The Producers' had wanted a real flop,
a musical King Lear would have done just as well as 'Springtime for
Hitler'.

Arguably, there is a spectacularly successful musical King Lear. It's
called Rigoletto. Time and again Verdi mentions Lear as a possible
subject for an opera. But the most probable he never composed it was
because in writing Rigoletto Verdi addressed the themes that most drew
him to the Lear story.

Of course, it's disingenuous to call Rigoletto a musical, but this was
the era before the disastrous split between 'serious' and 'popular'
staged-music, when pirated versions of Verdi tunes would be on the
street barrel organs the day after an opening night.  (And since when
nobody has written a half-way decent tragic musical or a quarter-way
decent comic opera.)

Stephen

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