Verdi created 28 works for the musical stage, from his fledgling 'Oberto' of 1839 (after its La Scala premiere the impresario Bartolomeo Merelli commissioned him to compose no fewer than three further operas) all the way to 'Falstaff' of 1893. Verdi thus wrote half a century of opera history. This is also reflected in the arias that Ludovic Tezier has chosen for his debut album at Sony Classical. They begin with early works from what Verdi himself called his 'years in the galleys', such as 'Nabucco' (1842) and 'Ernani' (1844), his first collaboration with the librettist Francesco Maria Piave, who would later become so important to him. They then continue through the famous 'big three' that finally brought him worldwide fame - 'Rigoletto' (1851), 'Il Trovatore' and 'La Traviata' (both 1853) - and come to an end with the late masterpieces 'Otello' (1887) and 'Falstaff'.