Last month was Joe Green's 200th anniversary: and today the 174th anniversary of his first opera: Oberto. Joseph Fortune Francis Green - or one of his works or themes - is one of the first names most people would mention if asked about Opera, (or certainly Top 5 along with Puccini, Rossini, Mozart and Wagner...or maybe Bizet?). I am of course playing by using an anglicised version of his name; I mean Giuseppe Verdi, a composer who - if we were to have such vulgar and useful things as opera stats and tables...oh, we do - would be well ahead in terms of performance runs (how many times a work was programmed not the number of performances) and five of the Top 20 operas. He almost ended his career before it had begun as his two young children and wife died before the debut of his 2nd opera [Bio], Un Giorno de Regno; this wasn't successful; ironically it means 'A One-Day Reign' and Verdi was almost a one hit wonder.
"Verdi’s music transcends the barriers between high and low culture. Many of his arias count among the greatest songs ever written, streaming out of opera houses and into football stadiums and even the charts."[from video debate: Verdi vs. Wagner]. What is Ows on about opera for? Well, opera is posh, innit, and that last quote mentioning football chants reminded me that last week Paul, writing about class envy, put up some very interesting information: "Class envy unfortunately is deeply routed in the British psyche, like subconscious racism it is always with us. Football is 'the working mans game' at £50 a ticket (the cheaper end) whilst the English National Opera (£22) and the Royal Ballet (£24) are for 'toffs'."
P.S. If you think I'm being inventive or pretentious I have written this listening to the Overture from Nabucco.