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Italy Stirs

Adrian Lyttelton

22 June 1995
Mazzini 
by Denis Mack Smith.
Yale, 302 pp., £19.95, April 1994, 0 300 05884 5
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Verdi: A Biography 
by Mary Jane Phillips-Matz.
Oxford, 941 pp., £30, October 1993, 0 19 313204 4
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The Real Traviata 
by Gaia Servadio.
Hodder, 290 pp., £20, October 1994, 9780340579480
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... his wife. Their relationship is explored in an entertaining and highly atmospheric biography by Gaia Servadio. Strepponi was a remarkable personality, an outstanding soprano who introduced a simpler and more spontaneous style of performance, admirably suited to the operas of Bellini and Donizetti. But a scries of unwanted pregnancies damaged her career ...

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