I’ll start this one with the beginning rather than the end. Verdi’s 9th opera is one of his roughest. There’s a lot coarse music that nevertheless has a certain grainy impact. The title role is what keeps the opera around. Sam Ramey sang the role with astounding regularity. The work begins with a short prelude which depicts sunrise over what became the Venetian lagoon. Despite its brevity, it’s only about three minutes long, it makes for a lovely effect. It’s beauty is reminiscent of the great preludes which Verdi later constructed. Riccardo Muti conducts this version. Attila prelude

Now for the finale. Attila plans to marry soprano Odabella. He’s killed her father earlier and given her a sword. I’m not sure that his analytical powers were still intact. Uldino and Foresto – a slave and Tribune, respectively are joined by Ezio a Roman general. Attila finds the three together and realizes he has been betrayed. As Roman soldiers approach, Odabella stabs him with the sword he had given her. The three conspirators cry that the people have been avenged. After all the dramatic posturing that precedes this denouement it ends the opera on a rather weak note. Not one of Verdi’s most inspired musical inventions, but not entirely lacking in effect. Attila Act 3 finale