Thousands Of Verdi’s Documents, Including Early Drafts Of Operas, Being Made Public

By David Salazar

For years, scholars have been hoping to have complete access to a treasure trove of documents by Giuseppe Verdi, but they were locked away at the composer’s home in Sant’Agata by his heirs.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, it was announced that those archives, which include some 5,400 pages (600 of which are blank) will be made public to scholars. Per the New York Times, they include, “a cornucopia of musical musings, stage directions, afterthoughts and reconsiderations, offering a glimpse into Verdi’s creative process at work.”

The documents are being transferred by Italy’s Ministry of Culture from the composer’s former home to the state archive in the city of Parma.

Per the report, the trunk contains drafts and sketches for a dozen operas, including “Luisa Miller,” “Aida,” “Fasltaff” and “Otello.” For example, there are multiple drafts of Jago’s famed “Credo” and even the first draft of the final fugue in “Falstaff.”

Per reports, the composer’s heirs have often made it difficult for scholars to have access to the documents, with only a select few having the chance to study the archives. As a result, the content has been largely revealed over the years. However, access for more is likely to yield more interpretations and understandings of one of opera’s legendary artists.