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VIVA VERDI SERIES AT BARD COLLEGE FEATURES LECTURES AND A CONCERT DURING OCTOBER World-famous Verdi authority Julian Budden will speak on October 15; a concert of 17th- and 18th-century music will be performed on October 17; and George Martin, Verdi and c

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Viva Verdi series at Bard College presents three events during the month of October that are free and open to the public. A two-year program, the Viva Verdi series celebrates Giuseppe Verdi's centenary and the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Italian state. The program is presented by the Italian Studies Program at Bard.

On Monday, October 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 104 of the F. W. Olin Humanities Building, Julian Budden, the world-famous authority on the life and work of Giuseppe Verdi, will deliver a talk titled "Verdi Reconsidered." He will discuss recent scholarly and musical discoveries that have altered our perception of the great opera composer.

Budden is the author of The Operas of Verdi, which was hailed by Verdi scholar David Rosen as "indisputably the best book on Verdi's works in any language." According to conductor and Stravinsky expert Robert Craft, "this book towers above all others in English on any aspect of Verdi." The magisterial three-volume work presents the sources, creation, variant versions, staging, and scene-by-scene analyses of each of Verdi's operas. These are interspersed with more general essays on the developement of opera during Verdi's lifetime.

On Wednesday, October 17, at 8:15 p.m. in Bard Hall, Viva Verdi presents a concert of 17th- and 18th-century Italian sacred music and instrumental music from the court of Queen Christina of Sweden. Contralto Joan Fuerstman, harpsichordist and organist Frederick Hammond, Baroque violinists Leah Nelson and Vita Wallace, and Baroque violoncellist Christine Gummere will perform works by Alessandro Scarlatti, Alessandro Stradella, Arcangelo Corelli, and Bernardo Pasquini. This concert is a preview of the opening program of the 2001 Festival Alessandro Scarlatti in Palermo, Italy.

Joan Fuerstman, who teaches vocal music at Bard, has performed widely throughout the United States, Canada, and South America. Her credits include solo orchestral appearances with the New York Philharmonic, the Tanglewood Festival orchestra, New York Choral Symphony, and Musica Aeterna. Fuerstman's opera appearances include the New York City Opera, the National Opera Company, and the Turnau Opera. Frederick Hammond, the Irma Brandeis Professor of Romance Culture and Music History at Bard, performs widely in Europe and the United States as solo organist and harpsichordist. He specializes in Baroque continuo playing and has performed as continuo harpsichordist in more than 30 operas. He was the keyboard continuo player for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has appeared with such conductors as Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan, Simon Rattle, Paul Hindemith, and Leon Botstein. The instrumentalists are all professional baroque musicians active in New York City.

On Wednesday, October 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Bard Hall, George Whitney Martin, an expert on Verdi and contemporary Italian culture will present a talk titled "Verdi, Politics, and 'Va pensiero'—The Scholars Squabble."

Among Martin's many publications are Verdi: His Music, Life, and Times; Aspects of Verdi, 12 essays on such subjects as Verdi's politics, religion, fluctuating popularity, imitation of Shakespeare, and treatment of Schiller; Verdi at the Golden Gate: Opera, and San Francisco in the Gold Rush Years, an account of a male-dominated boom town gone mad for opera. In addition to his history of 19th-century Italy, The Red Shirt and the Cross of Savoy: The Story of Italy's Risorgimento, Martin has published books on 20th-century opera, the Damrosch family, and Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor and the "mother" of Social Security.

For further information about the Viva Verdi program, call 845-758-6822 or e-mail

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This event was last updated on 09-14-2001