Composer of the Week - Giuseppe Verdi - Macbeth, Otello, Falstaff

For Verdi, Shakespeare was 'the great poet of the human heart' and the greatest of all playwrights, whom he sometimes referred to simply as 'Papa'. Donald Macleod concludes his exploration of Verdi's operas with his Shakespearean trio: a groundbreaking early work, Macbeth; and his final two operatic essays, Otello and Falstaff - acknowledged pinnacles of the genre. All three excerpts show the protagonists losing control in one way or another: Lady Macbeth, in the famous sleepwalking scene, is unable to suppress her murderous guilt; Otello is unable to control his jealously and rage; and Falstaff, tricked into taking cover in a laundry basket, finds himself at the mercy of gravity, as he's unceremoniously tossed out of a window into the River Thames. Producer: Chris Barstow.


  • Macbeth, Act 2 – Gran scena del sonnambulismo: ‘Vegliammo invan due notti’ by Giuseppe Verdi
  • Otello, extract from opening of Act 3: “La vedetta del porto” by Giuseppe Verdi
  • Falstaff, Act 2, Part 2 by Giuseppe Verdi