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Verdi and Merelli

Verdi and Merelli

“On Golden Wings”

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Affinito, A. Giovanni (Italian-American playwright, 1930-____), “On Golden Wings,”

a 33-minute drama in English, set in Milano, Italy, on an evening in February, 1840,


  •  © 1998 by A. Giovanni Affinito;  •  script/rights available from A. Giovanni Affinito, 576 Forest Road, West Haven, Connecticut 06516, U.S.A., e-mail Gioman2@aol.com, telephone (home) 203-397-8966.  •  Cited by A. Giovanni Affinito, via ftp September 16, 1999; Affinito says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Verdi (m), 28, composer; Merelli (m), 35, impresario of La Scala, Milan.

  §  Synopsis “In a short prologue, the impresario introduces the play. Verdi, depressed because of the fiasco of his second opera’s coinciding with the deaths of his wife and two children has given up composing. He is visited by Merelli who, in turn, urges, cajoles, demands, and  pleads to Verdi to set a new libretto, Nabucco, to music. Verdi adamantly refuses. During their arguments, revelations by Merelli concerning the illicit circumstances that brought his own success and make clear that Merelli  believes in Verdi’s genius, but more importantly in his own need to draw genius around him to calm frustration over an inability to be creative himself. Verdi, confused, but—struck by a verse in the libretto beginning, ‘Go thought on golden wings’—he begins to consider composition. Merelli tells the audience of the opera’s success as the base for Verdi’s long career, and of his own futile bid for immortality.

  §  Comment “‘On Golden Wings’ is in one scene, easily produced with furniture props. Costuming is  mid-nineteenth century.  Sound consists of snippets of the chorus ‘Va Pensiero,’ from Nabucco.  The usual battery of lights suffices. ‘On Golden Wings’ has been produced off-off Broadway, in New York City, and at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut.”

  §  Themes biography, creativity, death, depression, exploitation, frustration, genius, immortality, libretto, opera, Verdi (Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer, 1813-1901).

See also Affinito’s:


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