Philip Gossett, Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Music, Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago, officially retires tomorrow (they're throwing him a huge bash for him -- so big that Joyce Di Donato and Vivica Genaux are singing in his honor -- more on that later), but in no way is he taking a break from music, thankfully, an expert on Italian opera who has worked decades preparing critical editions from Puccini to Rossini, author of Divas and Scholars, which has just been published into Italian.
He exclusively tells Opera Chic that the Metropolitan Opera, with Maestro Muti, called on his expertise in preparing the critical edition of Verdi's Attila that Muti is using.
Gossett collaborated with fellow scholar Helen Greenwald of the New England Conservatory for a new critical edition of the score. Riccardo Muti and Gossett are longtime collaborators, since Muti's Scala years, and the Italian maestro has been exceedingly helpful and receptive -- enjoying immensely the new treasure. He explained to OC:
"The Attila edition is very nice: this is an opera that was badly re-orchestrated in the late nineteenth century to take out several of its more characteristic elements, and we have restored Verdi's original orchestrations. Under Muti's baton, the orchestra sounds simply splendid: a chamber-music quality everywhere. [...] We make available, for the first time, all the pieces he added to the opera in later years."