Verdi, portrait by Molentini, 1839-40 (Courtesy: www.verdi.san.beniculturali.it)

King for a Day – Verdi – Un giorno di regno (1840)

Un giorno di regno — ‘King for a day’ — is Verdi’s second opera, and the first of his only two comic operas, the other being his last opera, Falstaff, written over half a century later. The ear will at once discern that Un giorno di regno is much influenced by Rossini, with reminiscences of the styles of Bellini…