New light on Verdi’s love interest in Aida

New light on Verdi’s love interest in Aida


norman lebrecht

January 26, 2022

An Italian musicologist Laura Nicora has found hints of a passionate relationship with the Czech soprano Teresa Stolz while Giuseppe Verdi was composing her part in Aida.

Among other expressions of affection: ‘We will be alone! I won’t invite either Giulio or Boito for those days,’ and ‘a thousand kisses and I say no more.’

Verdi was in his 60s, Stolz in her 40s. She had just sung the soprano solos in the premiere of his Requiem in 1874.

Stolz had ended a long relationship with the Italian conductor Angelo Mariani, who died of cancer in 1873.

Verdi shared his life for 38 years with the Italian singer  Giuseppina Strepponi. She was not best pleased.

More background here.


  • Gustavo says:

    Nothing to be Stolz of.

  • Daniel Guss says:

    “She had just sung the soprano solos in the premiere of his Requiem in 1874.” Aida premiered in 1871, so how could Verdi have been composing her part in Aida? In fact, Stolz sang the European premiere of Aida (not the world premiere) in Milan in 1872, still two years before the Requiem premiere.

  • Gregory Mowery says:

    This is hardly news. At the very least, the prospect of a relationship between Verdi and Stoltz has been known about and written about by many musicologists and Verdi biographers. Perhaps revealing letters have truly been found which would confirm what many already know. But it really isn’t news.

    • TishaDoll says:

      Exactly. Mary Jane Phillips Matz writes at length about this in her 900 page magisterial biography of Verdi. No musicologist can upstage that tome. I wonder if the ‘musicologist’ read it.

  • Herbie G says:

    I am sure that this will be of enormous interest and will fundamentally change our perspective, understanding and enjoyment of Verdi’s Aida.

    Is this a part of Nicora’s degree dissertation? Is someone actually paying her to publish this ordure? Could she be studying journalism? Can you get a degree in Muckraking? I guess that she might end up as arts correspondent for the Sunday Sport.

  • Bill Ecker says:

    Suggest to all Gaia Servado’s well researched book “The Real Traviata, The Life of Giuseppina Strepponi, wife of Giuseppe Verdi”. In fact Mariani was engaged to Stolz and Verdi took her away prior to Mariani’s death. As the “Aida” premiere was 1871, this was much earlier, as he did in fact write the role for her.

    Conversely, Strepponi early in her career had the reputation of a soiled dove and even when not being paid was notorious for sleeping around. She had four out of wedlock children, one was stillborn and one died as an infant. While Verdi did have this long term extramarital affair, their marriage was considered to be a real love story given the circumstances of the times.

    The Verdi-Stolz relationship, Aida and the Requiem is old news, however, if new letters have been unearthed, there is value in that if in fact they say something interesting.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Verdi’s active love life explains his musical fertility deep in old age.