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Verdi's Macbeth

Verdi enjoyed a life-long interest in the works of William Shakespeare (1564–1616). Verdi's Macbeth, with a libretto that adheres quite closely to the original play, was the composer's first Shakespearean work. (Verdi's final two masterpieces—Otello and Falstaff—were from Shakespeare as well.) Macbeth breaks with nineteenth-century Italian operatic tradition in two notable ways: it lacks both a love story and a starring tenor role. Nevertheless, it captured the public attention following its initial production in 1847, and, along with Attila, composed the previous year, helped to establish Verdi's popularity as an opera composer. The first edition piano-vocal score was issued shortly after the premiere, probably in 1850.
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