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Brindisi: Toast or Town?

As Phileas and Passepartout continue their journey from Paris to catch the steamer Mongolia to Suez, they arrive in Brindisi, a coastal town on the heel of Italy. This gives us an excuse to include in our program a well-known operatic tune composed by Giuseppe Verdi.




It would be easy to think that the thoroughly Italian Verdi would refer to his home country in his operatic composition “La Traviata”. However, the story is set in Paris (in the 1850s), and Brindisi, the title of the well-known song in the first scene of Act 1, is not  about the ancient Roman seaport and terminus of the Appian Way. The word seems to have old German origins (“(ich) bringe dir's”) as an invitation to drink…and yes, it is a drinking song! The guests of the party give a toast to Violetta’s supposed improving health, as she “recovers” from consumption. The song features the main soprano role, Violetta, and the main male role, Alfredo, a tenor.


Glyndebourne has published an energetic rendering of Brindisi, and of course there are some classic recordings by operatic greats (link).

 

You might like to share a drink or two when you join us for our musical journey “Around the World in 80 minutes” on Sunday 26th May. For more details, go to Trybooking.

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