On Verdi


Verdi in America, Oberto through Rigoletto
(NY: University of Rochester Press, 2011)
ISBN 13:978-1-58046-388-1



On the reception of Verdiís first seventeen operas in the United States: How opinion on some of them formed and then changed, an example being Rigoletto, which became a box-office success only in the 1890s. And for some of the earlier operas, such as Nabucco and Macbeth, how they were revalued under the impact of the Verdi Renaissance (starting in Germany in the 1920s and sweeping into the U. S. in the 1940s), spurred by a production of Macbeth. in New York City.

ďGeorge Martin has done it again. Combining his extraordinary knowledge of American performances over the past fifty years with a scholarís delight in exploring the byways of nineteenths-century theatrical life in America, he has written a book that explores the reception of Verdiís early operas in the United States, from the first appearance of each thru the present. Anyone who wishes an overview of Verdiís operatic influence in America will be eternally in his debt.Ē Phlip Gossett, Emeritus Professor of Music, University of Chicago.

ďThe scope of Verdi in America is immense, but it is justified by the thoroughness of Martinís effort, which combines a criticís eye, a scholarís rigor and a fanís enthusiasm.Ē Fred Cohn, Opera News, June 2012.

ďAn operaís critical reception is often a springboard for Martinís own thoughts about why it did or did not win public favour, and one quickly appreciates that he speaks with at least as much authority as the critics he cites.Ē George Loomis, Opera, July 2012.
Book:Verdi In America

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Aspects of Verdi
(NY: Limelight Editions, 2nd ed. Paper, 1993)
ISBN 0-87910-172-5


"Heartily recommended. Martin a distinguished Verdi scholar, has here adapted 12 essays... covering Verdi's political, religious, literary, culinary and musical interests... interesting and rewarding." Liberty Journal

"An entertaining, illuminating, and provocative book... Just when one feels that no one can possibly find something else useful or new to say about Verdi, along comes a book one would not care to be without. Martin's is in that category." Michael Kennedy, The Daily Telegraph (London).
 
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Book: Verdi- His Music, Life and Times

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Verdi, His Music, Life and Times
(NY: Limelight Editions, 5th ed. Paper, 2001)
ISBN 0-87910-160-1


"In Martin's pages, history and the biographer's subject are in perfect balance: we see Verdi large and small, composer, farmer, parliamentarian, patriot, head-of-family, brilliantly portrayed."
Mary Jane Phillips-Matz, biographer of Verdi.

"Martin's [biography] has a special value indicated by its subtitle.. The book makes clear Verdi's greatness as a figure in the Italian movement for independence and unification, the Risorgimento." Andrew Porter, The Verdi Companion.


Verdi at the Golden Gate:
Opera and San Francisco in the Golden Rush Years

(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993)
ISBN 0-520-08123-4


"An important contribution to the cultural history of California and of San Francisco, unusual because of the author's rich understanding of Verdi's place in Western culture. Martin discusses the audience's role in the presentation an reception of operas, the effort to 'civilize' the audience..." Burton W. Peretti, author of The Creation of Jazz: Music, Race, and Culture in Urban America.

"This is a narrative unlike any other, combining the most colorful, passionate, and theatrical of all art forms with the history of the most colorful, passionate, and theatrical of all American cities." from the Foreword by Lotfi Mansouri, former General Director, San Francisco Opera.

"The book gripped me from the start and held me: an exploration into the eventful decades of American musical history that had been for too long uncharted." Andrew Porter, former music critic for The New Yorker, presently for The Observer (London).
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