Francesco Meli Announces New Verdi Album

By Francisco Salazar

Warner Classics has announced Francesco Meli’s first solo album “Prima Verdi.”

The new album, which is slated to be released on Nov. 19, 2021, will showcase Meli in works by Verdi. Audiences will hear highlights from such operas as “Simon Boccanegra,” “I Lombardi,” “Il Trovatore,” “Otello,” “Aida,” “Macbeth,” “Lusia Miller,” “Un Ballo in Maschera,” “I Due Foscari,” “La Forza del Destino,” and “La Battaglia di Legnano.”

Marco Armiliato conducts the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino orchestra.

In a statement, Meli said, “This album is a journey through Verdi, from the operas of the so-called years of hard labor to his last works. Above all it is a pathway through the vocality of Verdi, to sustain and fulfil the idea that the composer himself had of his tenor. Of course, I think that Verdi knew exactly what to ask of a tenor: certainly not stentorian expression, but quite the opposite: interpretation and in-depth exploration of the character through music. I have always paused to admire the meticulousness and skill in the dynamic markings that Verdi provides for the performer, the continual search for a deep relationship between words, rhythm, and music. Each one of Verdi’s indications is indispensable for a proper understanding of the character; far from being a cage that limits the performer, it is a detailed canovaccio that opens up a world of music, dramaturgy, and theatre, an immense range of opportunities for the musician who is prepared to make the composer’s indications his own. This is my homage to the great father of Melodrama, there where words become music. But it is also a stage on my journey of attachment to Verdi as a man, father of the Nation, and deep down inside, a revolutionary.”