Verdi's Aïda: An Academic Reading

Below is copy of a paper written for a Winter Term 2013 class at Lawrence University taught by Professor Jason Brozek called War and Popular Culture. I chose to fuse my interests in politics and music and focus on Verdi's Aïda as a piece of culture representing war. Note that the photos included are not necessarily from the production I actually used for my reviews, nor are they necessarily connected to the section in which they appear. Rather, they are merely for flavor.


In a 21st century world in which war and conflict remain pervasive and multivariate genres of music, music video, photography, and film serve as commentary, the relevance of classic mediums such as print, artwork, and classical music is difficult to discern. Opera, perhaps the most complicated form of classical music, once served as one of the focal points of culture throughout the West, attended by anyone with the resources to see it. Despite this and its survival, opera has been sarcastically called, “a dying art form since its creation four hundred years ago.” Indeed, although opera is arguably more alive today than ever, it is definitely branded as a less accessible scion of “high,” rather than “popular” culture. Additionally, though a considerable body of opera deals with byzantine court politics or violence, a surprisingly small amount of the repertoire, especially if incidental war in comedies is exempted, focuses on war explicitly. The power of the medium, therefore, to both reflect popular culture and war at the dawn of the 21st century and to influence it, seems limited. Verdi’s Aïda, however, through both its public spectacles and private passions, offers a powerful lens through which to consider timeless values and conflicts in war that still play a poignant role today.[1] Aïda’s history seems almost to embody war. Verdi’s mother supposedly hid him at the top of a campanile from pillaging Russian soldiers when he was a boy.[2] Aïda itself was composed at the height of the Franco-Prussian War and the conflict actually delayed the sets and costumes arriving in Milan for the European premiere.[3] [4] Verdi himself stated, “Ah, this war terrifies me!”[5] Though political science literature dealing with opera and war is essentially nonexistent, political scholarship on war in film acts as a foundation on which political analysis of opera based on musicological scholarship can be incorporated. This scholarship highlights the conflict between an oppressive imperial power and a passionately driven but less powerful foe, the conflict between war’s public image of glory and the private emotions of love, and the dichotomy between the honor of patriotism and the honor of following the heart. These themes, perhaps timeless, remain relevant today and demonstrate that Aïda reflects the current culture of war and its 21st century developments. Hence, though opera perhaps does not shape culture, high culture remains a relevant force in a world with so many cultural mediums because of its striking ability to inspire reflection.

Scholarship can be split into sections of increasing specificity to Aïda. Literature on film and war acts broadly as an established body of literature through which to consider opera as a medium concerning war. This is the only lens through which to view any scholarship from the fields of government or political science on opera. Biographies of Verdi paint a general background demonstrating Verdi’s personal stake in the topics of politics and war and explain the opera’s history. Some texts concern Verdi’s compositions or other topics more broadly and contain a section specifically on Aïda that while also dealing with compositional history analyze the opera. Additionally, assortments of letters provide further primary source background information. Finally, limited but incisive scholarship by musicologists investigates the themes inevitably bound up with war and politics, Aïda’s subject matter.
Scholarship on war and film spans the entire breadth of filmmaking history. Descriptions here will be short, however, as this paper is not intended to cover war in film directly. Leslie Midkiff DeBauche’s Reel Patriotism: The Movies and World War I discusses the issue of patriotism, also an issue in Aïda, through films in World War I.[6] The Star-Spangled Screen: The American World War II Film by Bernard F. Dick does the same in the World War II era.[7] Finally, Hollywood Goes to War: How Politics, Profits & Propaganda Shaped World War II Movies, by Clayton R. Koppes and Gregory D. Black addresses one direction of the war and popular culture cycle, how war impacts culture in the World War II era, while The World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre by Jeanine Basinger provides general background.[8] [9] Describing a later time period, Johanna Neuman’s 1996 book Lights, camera, war: Is media technology driving international politics addresses the opposite side of the cycle, whether media impacts politics and war.[10] Finally, both Imagining America at War: Morality, Politics, And Film by Cynthia Weber and “War and Film” by Mike Chopra-Gant in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television address war, especially from an American perspective, in a 21st century, post-9/11 world.[11] [12] None of these texts are focused on music or opera. They show, however, how drama can be deeply affected by war and how it can also illuminate the issues that any given war might raise, possibly feeding back into popular opinion on war itself. Movies do not, of course, focus on music the way that operas do, but due to their scope, they almost seem more like a natural evolution of opera in the 20th and 21st centuries than they do of theatre.
Biographies of Verdi inevitably touch on his work and are also useful for their general background. Joseph Wechsberg’s Verdi combines Verdi’s biography and his repertoire and addresses both simultaneously.[13] It provides excellent background on Verdi’s life, used above, and also addresses two issues, whether Aïda constitutes grand opera and the scope of Verdi’s involvement in the Risorgimento in Italy. The first raises interesting questions about the portrayal of war spectacle, the second about Verdi’s own political motivations. Verdi by Julian Budden, a scholar of multiple works on Verdi, deals with Verdi’s life and works separately.[14] In addition to fleshing out the topics discussed by Wechsberg in the biographical section, Budden’s biography groups Verdi’s works into broad sections, including one entitled “Towards Grand Opera,” which discusses Aïda’s spectacle. Though these sources are not the most specific, their general information is nonetheless beneficial in building an analysis of the opera.
Several authors focus on each of Verdi’s works in aggregate, therefore providing sections on Aïda. Verdi and His Operas, edited by Stanley Sadie, though a compilation of Verdi’s works with a useful section on Aïda, is most illuminating about Verdi’s political motivations and about the opera’s musical conservatism, which might actually lend itself to the grand spectacle of the work.[15] Julian Budden provides another valuable resource for this study, the multivolume work The Operas of Verdi.[16] In addition to discussing the background and music of Aïda, Budden actually offers political readings of the opera. Finally, Verdi & Puccini Heroines: Dramatic Characterization in Great Soprano Roles by Geoffrey and Ryan Edwards, though admittedly narrow in its prescription of a specific interpretation for a given role, focuses on love and suffering caused by split loyalties between filial, patriotic, and romantic love for the character of Aïda.[17] The Dover Opera Guide and Libretto Series’ Aïda, introduced by Ellen Bleiler, includes a brief but useful performance history that addresses the spectacle in the opera.[18] While the lack of explicit political science scholarship connecting Aïda and war specifically, or opera and war generally, is problematical, the foundation from these works provides a superb baseline from the musicological field on which this paper can build analysis from the political direction.
Letters by Verdi about Aïda serve as primary sources. Letters of Giuseppe Verdi, edited by Charles Osborne, fleshes out the political disruptions caused by the Franco-Prussian War described in other sources.[19] Verdi’s letters on his compositional process for Aïda reveal that he created almost every aspect of the piece himself, rather than truly delegating to a librettist, director, conductor, etc. This shows how carefully the peace is constructed and how exact the characterization is. Verdi’s Aida: The History of an Opera in Letters and Documents, collected and translated by Hans Busch, provides similar evidence, but is dedicated to Aïda specifically.[20] A primary source analysis of these letters could likely turn up results of Verdi’s intentions, but though Verdi does discuss exactly how he wants characters created, he seems to eschew discussing what his goals are for that characterization, making an analysis based on his letters difficult or impossible. Possessing primary sources, however, is a boom for any analysis.
The bulk of interpretive scholarship for this project comes from one magazine article and journal articles written by musicologists. “Verdi’s Heir” in Opera News, by Mary Jane Phillips-Matz, addresses the spectacle of Aïda.[21] It also describes Verdi’s almost religious influence in Italy, particularly on Italy’s next great opera composer, Puccini. The article suggests Verdi’s persona loomed far larger in Italian popular culture during his life than any film director’s has. Edward W. Said’s “The Imperial Spectacle” in Grand Street seems to have sparked scholarship on Aïda’s themes but was unfortunately unavailable for review.[22] Mary Ann Smart’s “Primal Scenes: Verdi in Analysis” in Cambridge Opera Journal surveys journal literature on Aïda and addresses its portrayal of power.[23] Cambridge Opera Journal’s articles “Beyond the exotic: How ‘Eastern’ Is Aida?,” by Ralph P. Locke, “Is “Aida” an Orientalist Opera?,” by Paul Robinson, and “Verdi’s Egyptian Spectacle: On the Colonial Subject of “Aida,” by Katherine Bergeron all present varying claims about colonialism in Aïda, relevant to modern times due to questions of war, terrorism, and neo-colonialism in the post-9/11 world and to the colonialism section of this paper.[24] [25] [26] Lastly, Cambridge Opera Journal also provides Steven Huebner’s “‘O patria mia’: Patriotism, Dream, Death,” which directly supports this paper’s analysis on public glory versus private emotion and honor of patriotism versus honor of love.[27]

            Aïda’s clashes between domineering neo-colonialism and dauntless counterforces, war’s glorious spectacles and love’s private emotions, and patriotic honor and honoring love reflect the current culture of war in a 21st century, post-9/11 world. They thereby confirm the continued relevancy of opera as a part of the cyclical interaction between culture and war, offering a unique medium for reflection on war’s impact on the human condition.
             Aïda was itself a product of colonialism. The Khedive of Egypt, technically autonomous but largely beholden to both the British and Ottoman Empires, was responsible for commissioning the work and requesting its premiere in Cairo.[28] The contest for power between colonial and anti-colonial forces undergirds the microcosmic interpersonal relationships between the characters.[29] Amonasro’s musical fight against “all,” for instance, represents the subjugation of the “savage” by the colonizer. This is perhaps most dramatized in the triumphal scene, where Amonasro must even distance himself from his fellow captives and his daughter to protect his identity as the reverently feared warrior-king of Ethiopia. Later, at the beginning of Act III, he must convince Aïda to, essentially, betray her lover for the good of her country by tricking him into revealing the Egyptian military’s movements. Because Amonasro retains respect, nobility under stress, and the title of king, the aggregate effect is his representation, and consequently, the representation of all the Ethiopians, as classic “noble savages.”[30] Even Aïda, the character for whom we are perhaps supposed to have the most sympathy, engages in the trickery her father suggests and also misleads Amneris about her relationship with Radames; she too may qualify as a “noble savage.”[31] The noble savage archetype has long characterized conflicts between great powers and the less “civilized,” less “organized” groups that fought them. Rome’s wars with northern “barbarians” or the decimation of native populations by European colonizers provide examples of a greater power disdaining yet fearing and thereby respecting the “other.” Locke’s analysis anticipates the connection of these themes in Aïda to Wahhabist jihad against 19th and early 20th century colonialism by Ottoman and European powers.[32] A greater connection can be made, however, to the perception of neo-colonialism throughout Islamic regions due to Western influence and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just as Radames’ second war against Ethiopia is driven by fear that threatening, cunning, and fearless “savages” cannot go unanswered, Western wars against Islamic extremism are driven by fears that terrorism must be put to rest by force of arms. If the West prizes civilization, order, and progressivism, its armies, like those of the Egyptians shown so glamorously in Aïda’s triumphal march, reflect those principles and abhor unusual tactics. For such cultures, suicide bombings or Ethiopian scheming demand retribution, leading to the cries for war like the unison Egyptian cry in Act I.[33] Conversely, just as Amonasro remains noble in captivity, the ideology behind Islamic fundamentalism fuels a sense of righteousness to use such tactics against the pomp and interventionism of the West that mirrors Ethiopia’s fight against Egypt. Much of war today, especially as shown in culture, is no longer one army fighting another. Nonetheless, the cultural characterization of Egyptian organized grandeur versus Ethiopian ferocity in Aïda demonstrates a connection to the perceptions driving 21st century war between the monolithic West and unstructured Islamic fundamentalism.

            If Aïda’s connections to the conflict between colonialism and its antagonists resonates with current war issues, the impact, pitting war’s public glory against love’s private fire, is personal and timeless. The triumphal scene, of course, with its procession, grand fanfare music, and huge number of characters on stage most forcefully represents this public glory.[34] Indeed, the journalism on colonialism focuses primarily on the staging of these major spectacles, treating the individual characters and the love plot as almost incidental.[35] [36] [37] Verdi’s letters, however, suggest that the love plot and the exact characterization of the lovers was his primary concern.[38] When he wrote to Antonio Ghislanzoni, his librettist, the amendments he suggested usually concerned the characters, not the grand spectacle.[39] Julian Budden’s scholarship follows the Verdian line, briefly addressing the spectacle in musical analysis but mostly focusing on the music that drives the love triangle.[40] This divide in scholarship is indicative of the divide within Aïda itself, which is in turn indicative of the divide in culture at large. Aïda first calls to mind the triumphal march, with fantasies even of the elephants in the original production that have rarely or never been used since. Certainly anyone familiar with the piece will then produce the knowledge that it is, in fact, about love in the face of war, but that rarely comes up first.[41] Though media about war may add a human component either by trying to portray the horrors of war or the impact of war on the home front, almost always the spectacle comes first and foremost because of its flashy ability to draw in audiences. The effect, of course, is the obfuscation of war’s true costs. The characters themselves experience this same delusion. In Radames’ opening aria “Celeste Aïda,” for instance, he speaks dreamily of Aïda. This is directly preceded, however, by the dramatically different “Se quel querrier io fossi,” which is underscored by warlike brass. In combination the two sections demonstrate Radames’ myopic belief that he can win the glory of Egyptian triumph as well as the simpler reward of Aïda’s love.[42] He discovers in Act III, however, that he must make a choice between love and war, a choice that robs him of his honor, his love, and his life.[43] While no other character in the opera contends with so great a divide, Amneris, as princess, must publicly side with the Egyptian establishment in condemning Radames, whom she loves, to death. Aïda publicly bears the slavery that allows her to be near Radames, whom she loves in secret. Lastly, Amonasro conceals his identity in order to prosecute war despite knowing it may ruin his daughter’s love. In the modern world many involved in war or caught in its crossfire may not be so easily divided between public grandeur and private emotion, but soldiers with PTSD, starving refugees, or injured veterans must all contend with personal, private issues involving emotional trauma. Meanwhile the propaganda of war, driven in part by culture, churns along and lures more victims into its crosshairs.
            The similar but more personal conflict between honor of patriotism and honor of love exacerbates this element of personal turmoil created by war, demonstrating Aïda’s ability to reflect on how war causes the pain it does. The final tableaux of the opera with Amneris, having abandoned all hope of a life with Radames, praying above the dying lovers for peace demonstrates that even the “victor” has been deeply scarred. Just as “Celeste Aïda” pits Radames’ yearning for public glory against his private love, it also calls into conflict whether he is more loyal to his Egyptian patriotism or to his love of an Ethiopian woman.[44] This turmoil reaches its pinnacle in Act III as he first plots to leave Egypt with Aïda but then, feeling disgraced at having revealed the army’s plans, surrenders to the Egyptians, losing everything. In Act I, Aïda’s aria “Ritorna vincitor” highlights her own split between patriotism and love as she mercurially yearns first for Radames victorious, and thus safe, return from war but then realizes that would mean decimation for her countrymen. Later, in O patria mia” in Act II, she idealizes her home country, demonstrating a movement back toward patriotism.[45] This, combined with her father’s prodding to elicit military secrets from Radames, is what leads Aïda, like Radames, to confusedly throw away everything.[46] Edwards and Edwards, interpreting the role of Aïda, contend through detailed analysis of multiple scenes that it is exactly because of the ability to love that the cruelty of war inflicted on Aïda is so excruciating.[47] Truly, this pain affects Radames, Amneris, and even Amonasro, as well. Chris Hedges, conversely, suggests in the “Eros and Thanatos” chapter of War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning that only love provides a reprieve from the preponderance of death propagated by war.[48] Tragically, it is the cruel conflux of these realities that makes Aïda so agonizing. As Hedges suggests, for Radames and Aïda love is the escape from the horrific war brought about by patriotism, which they both struggle to repress. Without that love, Radames might wage endless imperial war, Aïda and Amonasro might eternally plot revenge, and Amneris might never pray for peace at the end of the opera. But love does not eradicate patriotism, and it is Radames’ confusion that leads him to surrender rather than flee with Aïda, which would have dishonored his patriotism but at least saved his love. Had Aïda ignored her father and her patriotism and not betrayed Radames’ trust, she would never have put him in his own dilemma. Both end up with neither their patriotism nor their love, although in a tragic sense love wins by an edge because the lovers escape the tragic world of war together in death. Hence, Aïda shows that while love may be the only reprieve from war, it is because of love that when the inclination to patriotism breeds war such tragedy ensues.

            Both the literature available for this project and also the amount of unexplored potential offer plenty of possibilities to expand this work. More analysis along these same lines, a careful study of Verdi’s letters, musical analysis, or a comparison between popular culture and high culture are all opportunities. Verdi may have been immensely influential in his own time and his operas may have reached many more people than they do today, relegating his art to “high,” rather than “popular” culture.[50] Analysis of Aïda’s themes of colonialism versus anti-colonialism, war’s grand spectacle versus love’s private emotions, and love’s conflict with patriotism all demonstrate continued relevance, however. These themes connect Aïda to the West’s interventionism in the Middle East, terrorism, and timeless conflicts between culture’s propagandizing of war and the decimating impact it has precisely because of the poignancy of love. Hence, while high art such as classical music and opera may not have the reach of popular culture, it offers us a medium through which to reflect on the often tragically cyclical nature of the relationship between war and popular culture. It is perhaps opera’s sublimation of music’s deep emotional resonance into a drama that suffuses the art form with a particular kind of poignancy worth reviewing in any consideration of war portrayed through culture.


Aida. directed Gary Halvorson. New York City, NY: Decca, 2002. DVD.

Basinger, Jeanine. The World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2003.

Bergeron, Katherine. “Verdi’s Egyptian Spectacle: On the Colonial Subject of “Aida.”” Cambridge Opera Journal 14 (Winter 2001): 149-159.

Bleiler, Ellen, trans. Aïda. New York: Dover, 1962.

Budden, Julian. The Operas of Verdi. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Budden, Julian. Verdi. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Busch, Hans, ed. Verdi’s Aida: The History of an Opera in Letters and Documents. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1978.

Chopra-Gant, Mike. “War and Film.” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 31 (Spring 2011): 96-98.

DeBauche, Leslie Midkiff. Reel Patriotism: The Movies and World War I. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.

Dick, Bernard F. The Star-Spangled Screen: The American World War II Film. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996.

Edwards, Geoffrey and Edwards, Ryan. Verdi and Puccini Heroines: Dramatic Characterization in Great Soprano Roles. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, 2001.

Huebner, Steven. “‘O patria mia’: Patriotism, Dream, Death.” Cambridge Opera Journal 14 (Winter 2001): 161-175.

Koppes Clayton R. and Black, Gregory D. Hollywood Goes to War: How Politics, Profits & Propaganda Shaped World War II Movies. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

Locke, Ralph P. “Beyond The Exotic: How ‘Eastern’ Is Aida?” Cambridge Opera Journal 17 (Summer 2005): 105-139.

Neuman, Johanna. Lights, camera, war: Is media technology driving international politics. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.

Osborne, Charles, ed. Letters of Giuseppe Verdi. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971.

Phillips-Matz, Mary Jane. “Verdi’s Heir: How the composer’s mantle was passed on to Puccini.” Opera News (March 2, 1996): 12-23.

Robinson, Paul. “Is Aida an Orientalist Opera?” Cambridge Opera Journal 5 (Summer 1993): 133-140.

Sadie, Stanley, ed. Verdi and His Operas. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000.

Said, Edward W. “The Imperial Spectacle.” Grand Street 6 (Winter 1987): 82-104.

Smart, Mary Ann. “Verdi in Analysis.” Cambridge Opera Journal 14 (Winter 2001): 1-9.

Weber, Cynthia. Imagining America at War: Morality, Politics, And Film. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2006.

Wechsberg, Joseph. Verdi. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1974.

[1] All scene references were made from the standard, period-design production Aida, directed Gary Halvorson (New York City, NY: Decca, 2002), DVD.
[2] Joseph Wechsberg, Verdi (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1974), 9-10.
[3] Ibid., 146.
[4] Julian Budden, Verdi (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 109.
[5] Hans Busch, ed., Verdi’s Aida: The History of an Opera in Letters and Documents (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1978), 46.
[6] Leslie Midkiff DeBauche, Reel Patriotism: The Movies and World War I (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997).
[7] Bernard F. Dick, The Star-Spangled Screen: The American World War II Film (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996).
[8] Clayton R. Koppes and Gregory D. Black, Hollywood Goes to War: How Politics, Profits & Propaganda Shaped World War II Movies (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990).
[9] Jeanine Basinger, The World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2003).
[10] Johanna Neuman, Lights, camera, war: Is media technology driving international politics (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996).
[11] Cynthia Weber, Imagining America at War: Morality, Politics, And Film (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2006).
[12] Mike Chopra-Gant, “War and Film,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 31 (Spring 2011): 96-98.
[13] Wechsberg, Verdi.
[14] Budden, Verdi.
[15] Stanley Sadie, ed., Verdi and His Operas (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).
[16] Julian Budden, The Operas of Verdi (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978).
[17] Geoffrey Edwards and Ryan Edwards, Verdi and Puccini Heroines: Dramatic Characterization in Great Soprano Roles (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, 2001).
[18] Ellen Bleiler, trans., Aïda (New York: Dover, 1962).
[19] Charles Osborne, ed., Letters of Giuseppe Verdi (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971).
[20] Busch, Verdi’s Aida: The History of an Opera in Letters and Documents.
[21] Mary Jane Phillips-Matz, “Verdi’s Heir: How the composer’s mantle was passed on to Puccini,” Opera News (March 2, 1996): 12-23.
[22] Edward W. Said, “The Imperial Spectacle,” Grand Street 6 (Winter 1987): 82-104.
[23] Mary Ann Smart, “Verdi in Analysis,” Cambridge Opera Journal 14 (Winter 2001): 1-9.
[24] Ralph P. Locke, “Beyond The Exotic: How ‘Eastern’ Is Aida?,” Cambridge Opera Journal 17 (Summer 2005): 105-139.
[25] Paul Robinson, “Is Aida an Orientalist Opera?,” Cambridge Opera Journal 5 (Summer 1993): 133-140.
[26] Katherine Bergeron, “Verdi’s Egyptian Spectacle: On the Colonial Subject of “Aida,”” Cambridge Opera Journal 14 (Winter 2001): 149-159.
[27] Steven Huebner, “‘O patria mia’: Patriotism, Dream, Death” Cambridge Opera Journal 14 (Winter 2001): 161-175.
[28] Budden, The Operas of Verdi, 163-170.
[29] Smart, “Verdi in Analysis,” 4-9.
[30] Locke, “Beyond The Exotic: How ‘Eastern’ Is Aida?,” 116-126.
[31] Ibid., 126-128.
[32] Ibid., 135-139.
[33] Bleiler, Aïda, 36-41.
[34] Ibid.
[35] Bergeron, “Verdi’s Egyptian Spectacle: On the Colonial Subject of “Aida,”” 149-159.
[36] Locke, “Beyond The Exotic: How ‘Eastern’ Is Aida?,”105-139.
[37] Robinson, “Is Aida an Orientalist Opera?,” 133-140.
[38] Busch, Verdi’s Aida: The History of an Opera in Letters and Documents, 44-46.
[39] Osborne, Letters of Giuseppe Verdi, 156-167.
[40] Budden, The Operas of Verdi, 283-291.
[41] Edwards and Edwards, Verdi and Puccini Heroines: Dramatic Characterization in Great Soprano Roles, 41-42
[42] Huebner, “‘O patria mia’: Patriotism, Dream, Death” 163-164.
[43] Ibid.
[44] Ibid., 162-163.
[45] Ibid., 165-171.
[46] Ibid., 171-174.
[47] Edwards and Edwards, Verdi and Puccini Heroines: Dramatic Characterization in Great Soprano Roles, 40-58.
[48] Chris Hedges, War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning (New York: PublicAffairs, 2002). iBook Edition. “Eros & thanatos The Blackwell Companion to the Bible in English Literature. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. PDF e-book. iBook, “Eros and Thanatos.”
[49] General thanks also to Professor Jason Brozek, the class members of Government 425: War & Popular Culture, and participants at my presentation on this project (Course, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, Winter Term, 2013).
[50] Wechsberg, Verdi, 102-121.


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