Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Celebrating Giuseppe Verdi at 200 with Falstaff

Giuseppe Verdi, the man many consider the father of Italian opera, would have celebrated his 200 birthday on October 10. While he could not be with us in person, opera and music fans around the world have been commemorating the occasion with special concerts and performances of his works. 

Roberto Frontali as Falstaff © Marc Vanappelghem
Courtesy of Opera de Lausanne
Verdi had a tremendous influence on the evolution of opera, in particular, infusing it with profound emotional theatricality. The Washington Post music critic and opera-enthusiast Anne Midgette raved, “For me, Verdi has always made perfect sense. Something about his work accords with my sense of how life works, and how stories can be told and experienced.” He said of himself, "I adore art... when I am alone with my notes, my heart pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are too much to bear." It is likely that countless people who have heard his music and watched his operas have said the same thing about their experiences with his notes. 

His final opera, Falstaff, will be presented in concert version at the Center on November 26. Based on Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, Part I, many critics have called it his finest work. This comic masterpiece, the crowning glory of his magnificent career, will be performed by LA Opera, conducted by LA Opera Music Director James Conlon and star Italian baritone Roberto Frontali. 

To learn more about Falstaff, please visit www.SCFTA.org.

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