Author(s): Garry Wills
"Riveting . . . a double-barreled salvo that hits two bull's-eyes." --"The New York Times Book Review" This dazzling study of the three operas that Giuseppe Verdi adapted from Shakespeare's plays takes readers on a wonderfully engaging journey through opera, music, literature, history, and the nature of genius. "Verdi's Shakespeare" explores the writing and staging of "Macbetto" ("Macbeth"), "Otello" ("Othello"), and "Falstaff," operas by Verdi, an Italian composer who could not read a word of English but who adored Shakespeare. Delving into the fast-paced worlds of these men and the hands-on life of the stage that at once challenged them and gave flight to their brilliance, Wills, in his inimitable way, illuminates the birth of artistic creation.
A Booklist Editor's Choice Pick for 2011 "Wonderfully illuminating. This book is the product of a lifetime of listening and watching....No lover of Verdi--or Shakespeare, for that matter--will want to miss it." --"Opera News" "Riveting...a double-barreled salvo that hits two bull's-eyes. Shakespeare scholarship is one of the world's thriving industries, with no factories but worldwide workshops. While you are reading this, there must be hundreds (thousands?) of worthies turning out articles and books from pole to pole. But -Garry Wills has upped the ante. There is a fair, but not daunting, amount of musical analysis, as well as much acknowledged borrowing and quoting from other relevant writers. This only makes the book more useful, what with burrowings (rather than borrowings) a worm would be proud of, and a panorama worthy of a fly's multifaceted eye. "Nomen est omen" goes a Latin adage: the name is a signifier. So the noun "Wills" suggests manifold motivation, multiple resolve. Whatever Garry undertakes, trust Wills to get done." -John Simon, "The New York Times" "Wills's joyously engaged, scholarly yet personable essay is not just a treat but also a banquet succulent enough to make Shakespeareans and Verdians of all who partake of it." -"Booklist, "starred review "Opera aficionados will delight in Wills's thoughtful, deeply rehearsed essays. . . .
Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of "Saint Augustine's Childhood," "Saint Augustine's Memory," and "Saint Augustine's Sin," as well as the Penguin Lives biography "Saint Augustine." His other books include ""Negro President" Jefferson and the Slave Power," "Why I Am a Catholic," "Papal Sin," and "Lincoln at Gettysburg," which won the Pulitzer Prize.