Giovanna d’Arco, Verdi’s first opera, adapted from a play by Friedrich Schiller, was written afterNabucco and I Lombardi. The grand choral tableaux may be reminiscent of these earlier works, but still the young composer made the legendary heroine Jeanne d’Arc into the pivot of the drama. As with Schiller, he is more concerned with poetic veracity than with the historical truth.
The simple shepherdess whose visions called her to liberate France from its English occupants appealed to the imagination of the Italian freedom fighters of the 19th century.
This opera with its vocal star parts for the protagonists and its powerful ensembles is an excellent illustration of Verdi’s evolution towards fully-fledged dramatic opera.
Future opera productions