The operas of Verdi provide an excellent laboratory for studying the transition from violin director to conductor. By the mid 1860s, some two dozen of his works had been presented hundreds of times throughout Italy. Information on many of these performances is currently available in periodicals, theater histories, and other chronicles. In addition, the American Institute for Verdi Studies (AIVS) has microfilmed over sixty documents that offer a unique perspective on the role of the violin directors, namely, the parts from which they performed. These parts are enlightening both for what they contain and what they omit, suggesting in greater detail than hitherto reported the Italian violin director's musical responsibilities.

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Copyright © 1997 University of Chicago Press. This chapter first appeared in Verdi's Middle Period (1849-59): Source Studies, Analysis, and Performance Practice .

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