The Life of Verdi (miniseries)

The Life of Verdi
Written by Leonardo Benvenuti
Renato Castellani
Piero De Bernardi
Gene Luotto
Directed by Renato Castellani
Starring Ronald Pickup
Carla Fracci
Giampiero Albertini
Narrated by Burt Lancaster (English version only)
Theme music composer Roman Vlad
Country of origin Italy, France, West Germany, UK, Sweden
Original language(s) Italian
Cinematography Giuseppe Ruzzolini
Editor(s) Otello Colangeli
Running time 630 min
Distributor RAI
Original release 13 October 1982 (1982-10-13)

The Life of Verdi is a 1982 Italian-language biographical television miniseries directed by Renato Castellani dramatizing the life of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. Castellani also co-wrote the original script with Leonardo Benvenuti and Piero De Bernardi. The English version was written by Gene Luotto and narrated by Burt Lancaster. The miniseries first aired in 1982, and was made available on DVD in 2003.

The production stars British actor Ronald Pickup as Giuseppe Verdi, Italian ballet dancer and actress Carla Fracci as Giuseppina Verdi, and Giampiero Albertini as Antonio Barezzi. Funded by a number of European national broadcasting companies, the series is an accurate portrayal of Verdi's life.

According to promotional material for the production, it was "filmed on location in Italy, Leningrad, London, and Paris...(T)his epic mini-series took several years to create, requiring more than 100 actors, 1800 extras, and 4000 costumes."[1]


The English version has seven 90-minute episodes totaling 630 minutes; the original Italian version, nine 70-minute episodes.

  1. "Childhood, Barezzi & Milan"
  2. "Margherita, Tragedy & Nabucco"
  3. "Patriotism, I Lombardi & Ernani"
  4. "Giuseppina, Revolution & Rigoletto"
  5. "Independent Italy, La Traviata & Un Ballo"
  6. "Wagner, Teresa & Aida"
  7. "Crisis, Otello & Falstaff"



  1. The Life of Verdi at
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