Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music


School of Music

First Advisor

Samantha Inman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Benjamin Morris, D.M.A.

Third Advisor

Scott LaGraff, D.M.A.

Fourth Advisor

David Herendeen, D.M.A.


Giuseppe Verdi is a pillar of the operatic world and had a profound impact on the evolution of the art form. From a rudimentary beginning, he developed over time from a popular creator of operas in the solita forma style of 19th century Italy into a master craftsman of combining music, text, and theatrical drama. Verdi utilized the popular compositional formal convention of solita forma to begin his career. Over time he evolved beyond its boundaries and shifted his focus to the holistic theatrical presentation of the drama. Much has been written about this evolution through analysis of Verdi’s most famous operas and their arias. This paper instead focuses on the arias of six villains, and through those arias, examines Verdi’s evolution from solita forma to the through–composed, free style he adopted near the end of his life. His desire to provide theatrically suitable accompaniment for the malicious intentions and actions of his villains, and his need to tell a complete theatrical musical story, both influenced his choices in compositional form and led him eventually to leave solita forma behind entirely.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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