Attila (opera)

Attila (opera)

"Attila" is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the play "Attila, König der Hunnen" ("Attila, King of the Huns") by Zacharias Werner. Initially, Verdi had enlisted Francesco Maria Piave to prepare the libretto, after Verdi's own scenario. After finding Piave's work unsatisfactory, Verdi then turned to Solera, but finally returned to Piave for Act III.cite journal | url= | last=Fregosi | first=William | title="Attila". Giuseppe Verdi | journal=The Opera Quarterly | volume=6 | issue=2 | pages=117–119 | date=2002 | accessdate=2007-11-02] The opera received its first performance at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, on March 17, 1846.

Ezio's aria of heroic resolution "E gettata la mia sorte" is a fine example of a characteristic Verdian "genre", and achieved fame in its own time with audiences in the context of the adoption of a liberal constitution by Ferdinand II.Stamatov, Peter, "Interpretive Activism and the Political Uses of Verdi's Operas in the 1840s" (June 2002). "American Sociological Review", 67 (3): pp. 345-366.] Other contemporary comment praised the work as suitable for the "political education of the people", and in contrast criticised the opera as "Teutonic" in nature.




In the ruined city of Aquileia, Attila and his victorious horde are surprised to see a group of women spared as prisoners of war. Their leader, Odabella, asks why the Huns' women remain at home ("Allor che i forti corrono"). Attila, impressed by her courage, offers a boon and she asks for her sword to avenge the death of her father at Attila's own hand ("Da te questo or m'è concesso"). The Roman envoy Ezio asks for an audience and proposes a division of the empire: "the universe for you and Italy for me"; Attila denounces him as a traitor to his country. The scene changes to a swamp, the future site of Venice. A boat bearing Foresto and other survivors arrives; he thinks of the captive Odabella ("Ella in poter del barbaro") but then rouses himself and the others to begin building a new city ("Cara patria già madre e reina").

Act 1

"Atilla's camp"

The opera proper opens outside Attila's camp with Odabela's "Oh! Nel fuggente nuvolo" lamenting her father and Foresto, whom she believes also dead. When he appears, she is put on the defensive, denying any infidelity and reminding him of the biblical Judith. In his tent, Attila awakes and tells Uldino of a dream in which an old man stopped him at the gates of Rome and warned him to turn back ("Mentre gonfiarsi l'anima parea"). In the daylight, his courage returns and he orders a march ("Oltre quel limite, t'attendo, o spettro"). However, when a procession approaches, he recognizes the Roman bishop Leo and collapses.

Act 2

"Ezio's camp"

Ezio has been recalled, after a peace has been concluded. In "Dagl'immortali vertici", he contrasts Rome's past glory with the child emperor Valentine. Recognizing the incognito Foresto among the bearers of an invitation to a banquet with Attila, he agrees to join forces ("E' gettata la mia sorte" ). At the banquet, Foresto's plot to have Uldino poison Attila is foiled by Odabella, jealous of her own revenge. A grateful (and unsuspecting) Attila declares she shall be his wife, and places the unmasked Foresto in her custody.

Act 3

"The forest"

Foresto laments Odabella's apparent betrayal ("Che non avrebbe il misero"). Ezio arrives with a plan to ambush the Huns, and Odabella comes to plead for his trust. Attila finds the three and recognizes treachery. Odabella stabs him.

elected recordings


External links

* [ Libretto]
* [ Aria database]

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