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VIVA VERDI SERIES CONTINUES AT BARD COLLEGE WITH A LECTURE BY ACCLAIMED MUSIC CRITIC ANDREW PORTER Porter will discuss Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos on the April 10 program
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.--Andrew Porter, renowned music critic and authority on Giuseppe Verdi, will speak at Bard College on the topic of Verdi's opera Don Carlos on Wednesday, April 10. The program, part of the Viva Verdi series, is free and open to the public and will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Olin Hall. Porter will be presented by his friend and colleague, William Weaver, Bard Center Fellow and professor of literature at Bard.
Porter, the former music critic for the New Yorker, discovered music by Verdi for Don Carlos that had been excised even before the premiere performance at the Paris Opéra in 1867. Verdi physically cut the omitted material from the manuscript score, but the parts (still in the archive of the Opéra) were merely stitched to close them at the cuts. Porter received permission to unpick the stitches and thus revealed quantities of music not heard since the dress rehearsal of the opera. The recovered material was integrated into the recent recordings of the opera by Abbado and Pappano. "The vast mural that is Don Carlos has never been seen in such detail," writes William R. Braun in Opera News.
Julian Budden, the Verdi authority and series speaker last semester, has written, "no single opera of Verdi's has undergone such a drastic reappraisal over the last 25 years as Don Carlos . . . It is now considered by many as Verdi's masterpiece." Among the problems of Don Carlos are the fact that, written to a French libretto, it is generally performed in an inadequate Italian translation, and that there are so many versions to chose from to perform. Verdi, himself, revised the opera not only before its premiere in 1867, but again in 1872, 1884, and 1886. Conceived in five acts, Don Carlos has been performed in four- and even three-act versions.
"Andrew Porter is a kind of Verdian Renaissance man," says Frederick Hammond, organizer of the Viva Verdi series and Irma Brandeis Professor of Romance Culture and Music History at Bard. "He is a performing musician, an 'elegant, spacious, and imaginative' critic, a prolific translator (not only of singing translations of Mozart, Rossini, and Verdi ? including Don Carlos -- but also of Wagner's Tristan and the Ring cycle), and a stage director. Bard is fortunate to have him in residence for a week."
The next program in the Viva Verdi series will take place on Thursday, April 18. James Bagwell, assistant professor of music at Bard, will discuss Verdi's Requiem in Room 104 of the Olin Humanities Building at 7:30 p.m. On Tuesday, May 7, the Bard Vocal Ensemble (directed by Bagwell) will perform works by Verdi in Olin Hall at 8:00 p.m.
The Viva Verdi series is a two-year program that celebrates Giuseppe Verdi's centenary and the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Italian state. The series is presented by the Italian Studies Program at Bard.
For further information about the concert or the Viva Verdi series, call 845-758-6822, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website inside.bard.edu/vivaverdi.
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