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VIVA VERDI AT BARD PRESENTS THE RISORGIMENTO PROJECT IN CONCERT April 16 program features vocal chamber works of 19th-century Italian composers

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Viva Verdi series at Bard College presents a concert by the Risorgimento Project—a chamber ensemble dedicated to reviving Italian salon music and culture—on Wednesday, April 16. This program begins at 8:00 p.m. in Bard Hall and is free and open to the public.

The program will feature vocal chamber works by 19th-century Italian composers, including Luigi Arditi, Arrigo Boito, Giovanni Bottesini, Raimondo Boucheron, Gaetano Donizetti, Franco Faccio, Angelo Mariani, Emanuele Muzio, Amilcare Ponchielli, Gioachino Rossini, and Giuseppe Verdi.

The Risorgimento Project, which appeared at Bard last spring, features mezzo-soprano Julia Grella and pianist Francesco Izzo, founders and codirectors of the project, as well as tenor Osvaldo Peroni and bass Jeffrey E. Tucker.

With a focus on music by Italian composers, the Risorgimento Project has performed to acclaim at the American Institute for Verdi Studies, Columbia University, Dante Society of Massachusetts in Boston, Music at the Redwood in Newport, and the Società Dante Alighieri in Rome. Their repertoire includes chamber and salon pieces by Donizetti and Rossini; works by the once well-known Luzzi, Campana, and Carafa; and unpublished works by Verdi. The Risorgimento Project is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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 program is presented by the Italian Studies Program at Bard. For further information about the concert or the Viva Verdi series, call 845-758-6822 or visit the website

About the Artists:

Mezzo-soprano Julia Grella is both an acclaimed singer and a scholar whose work focuses on Italian music in 19th-century England and salon music by women composers. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America for her work in
19th-century Italian song. Grella has also presented her research in lecture-recitals at Cambridge University, Columbia University, and the American Musicological Society. This summer, she will give a lecture-recital on Victorian Italian music at "19th-Century Worlds," an interdisciplinary conference in London, and a concert for the benefit of Amnesty International in Coventry. In November 2003, Grella, Izzo, and concertinist Allan Atlas will appear together in a program of Victorian music at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Grella is currently a student in the D.M.A. program in voice at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Pianist and musicologist Francesco Izzo, a native of Bologna, Italy, received his musical training in Rome, where he made his debut recital in 1984. He has appeared as a recitalist and as an orchestral soloist throughout Italy and the United States, at such venues as the Teatro Olimpico in Rome, New York University’s Villa La Pietra in Florence, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1993, he was invited to perform Beethoven’s "Emperor" Concerto in a live radio broadcast to celebrate the reopening of the Teatro Carlos Gomes in Vitôria, Brazil. As a vocal accompanist, he has collaborated with such acclaimed singers as tenor Rockwell Blake and baritone Giuseppe Taddei. Izzo specializes in the performance of rarely-heard 19th-century Italian art song. In addition to his performance activities, Izzo’s writings on opera, 19th-century Italian song, and other subjects have appeared in Acta Musicologica, Studies in Music, Nuova Rivista Musicale Italiana, Rivista Italiana di Musicologia, and the latest edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He is a member of the adjunct music faculty of New York University, where he recently received a Ph.D. in musicology. Izzo is also the associate director of the American Institute for Verdi Studies and assistant editor of the Verdi Forum.

Argentinian tenor Osvaldo Peroni made his debut at the Teatro Colón in Le Nozze di Figaro. He has also appeared there in productions of Falstaff, L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Die Zauberflöte, and the world premiere of La Ciudad Ausente by Gerardo Gandini. On the concert stage, Peroni has sung the St. John Passion, the St. Matthew Passion, and numerous cantatas by Bach; Verdi’s Requiem; Orff’s Carmina Burana; and Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher. He has appeared with the Kiev Symphonic Orchestra; was the tenor soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Lobgesang; and was awarded the "Gulag Artemovsky" International Prize by the Academy of Men of Science, Literature and Arts of Ukraine. He has also appeared at Merkin Hall, and with Taconic Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Anchorage Opera.

Bass Jeffrey Tucker is a native of Chandler, Arizona, and has sung frequently throughout that state. He has performed with the Sarasota Opera, Opera Roanoke, Opera Omaha, Central City Opera, and the Metropolitan Lyric Theater. Upcoming engagements include Sarastro in The Magic Flute and Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette with the Natchez Opera Festival. On the concert platform, Tucker has appeared as the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Vesperae Solenne de Confessore at Carnegie Hall, Haydn’s Creation and The Seasons, Handel’s Dettinger Te Deum, and numerous performances of Messiah.

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This event was last updated on 03-25-2003