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RENOWNED TRANSLATOR, AUTHOR, AND CRITIC WILLIAM WEAVER WILL SPEAK ON THE TOPIC OF "VERDI'S SHAKESPEARE" AT BARD COLLEGE September 19th talk begins a two-year Verdi celebration at Bard featuring lectures, concerts, and films

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-William Weaver, professor of literature at Bard College and a Bard Center Fellow, is "the preeminent interpreter of Italian prose," according to Time magazine. He will speak on the topic of "Verdi's Shakespeare" on Wednesday, September 19. This lecture is the first program in the two-year "Viva Verdi" series of lectures, concerts, and films presented by the Italian Studies Program at Bard. The series celebrates Verdi's centenary and the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Italian state. Weaver's lecture, free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Cinema at the Bertelsmann Campus Center on the Bard campus.

"My topic explores the three Verdi operas-Macbeth, Otello, and Falstaff-that are based on Shakespeare's plays," says Weaver. "I will also delve into the performance of Shakespeare in the Italian theater tradition and the relationship between Shakespeare's plays and Italian opera in general."

William Weaver, an internationally renowned author and critic, has translated more than 50 books by leading Italian contemporary novelists, among them Calvino, Gadda, and Elsa Morante. His translations have garnered a National Book Award, two PEN translation prizes, and the PEN medal for translation in recognition of his life's work. His translation of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose received the Galantière Prize. In Great Britain he has been awarded the John Florio Prize from the Society of Authors three times. The National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters gave Weaver a special award for his work, and in 1992 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In addition to translating, Weaver writes about music, serving (for more than three decades) as arts correspondent for the Financial Times of London. He is a frequent broadcaster, particularly for the regular Texaco opera broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera. Weaver's reviews have appeared in numerous magazines, including Opera News. He is the author of books about leading figures in opera and the theater, including Verdi, A Documentary Study and The Golden Century of Italian Opera, and is coeditor of The Verdi Companion. Weaver is presently writing a memoir. Excerpts from this work-in-progress have appeared in Antaeus, Southwest Review, Yale Review, and the New York Times.

Additional "Viva Verdi" lectures, concerts, and films will be scheduled during the months of October, November, and December. George Whitney Martin will give the next lecture, on the topic "Risorgimento," on Wednesday, October 24, in Bard Hall at 7:30 p.m. Martin is the author of several books about Italy and opera including The Red Shirt and the Cross of Savoy: The Story of the Italian Risorgimento; Verdi, His Music, Life, and Times; Aspects of Verdi; Verdi at the Golden Gate: Opera and San Francisco in the Gold Rush Years; and The Opera Companion.

In conjunction with the Bard "Viva Verdi" series, a "Leaf Peeper" concert will take place on October 6 and 7, in Chatham, New York, and Stockbridge, Massachusetts, respectively. The concert features La Petite Messe Solennelle by Rossini. For information about these concerts only, call 518-325-3805.

Additional information about William Weaver's lecture and the "Viva Verdi" series may be obtained by calling 845-758-6822; e-mailing; or visiting

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This event was last updated on 08-20-2001