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date: 05 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines censorship in pre-unification Italy by focusing on opera composer Giuseppe Verdi. Before explaining how Verdi’s thorough involvement in the creative process of his works makes him a central figure in the discourse on censorship of the period, the article analyzes what he meant when he uttered the words “From Nabucco onward I haven’t had, one can say, an hour of peace. Sixteen years in prison!” in a May 12, 1858 letter to his close friend, the Milanese countess Clarina Maffei. More specifically, it discusses the censorship of one of his operas, Gustavo III, and its musical implications. It also considers Verdi’s reactions to the censorship of several of his works.

Keywords: censorship, Italy, Giuseppe Verdi, operas, Gustavo III

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