Opera in four acts on a libretto by Salvatore Cammarano
, taken from the tragedy by William Shakespeare, King Lear
Première: Unfinished (1850).
In 1850 Verdi gave Salvatore Cammarano, suo his librettist, an outline that reduced the five acts of the original King Lear to four acts and the scenes to eleven (three in act I, four in II, two in III and IV). However, he had to abandon this project and pass on to Stiffelio. Already in 1849 he had insisted with Cammarano to conserve a comic character for Wurm in Luisa Miller he certainly had in mind Shakespeare's buffoon in King Lear. Moreover, behind the characters of Luisa and old Miller we catch glimpses of King Lear and Cordelia.
The opera was never finished nor performed.