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Linfield concert to honor Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe VerdiIn honor of the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, the Linfield College Music Department will present “Verdi’s Operas and Changing Social Values in 19th-Century Italy” on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield.

A pre-concert discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Soloists include soprano Natalie Gunn, mezzo-soprano Beth Madsen Bradford, tenor Giovanni Formisano and baritone Anton Belov. The Linfield Concert Choir, under the direction of Anna Song, will also perform.

The concert, part of the Lacroute Art Series, “The Arts and Social Change,” will feature Giuseppe Verdi’s famous choruses, ensembles and arias from “Nabucco,” “Ernani,” “Rigoletto,” “La Traviata,” “Un Ballo in Maschera,” “Il Trovatore” and “Falstaff.” Many of his works reflected vital social questions of the time and contained thinly disguised political messages. His operas are distinguished by their dramatic power, demanding vocal lines and unforgettable melodies.

Belov, assistant professor of music at Linfield, has earned praise from critics and audiences alike for his portrayals of Count di Luna in “Il Trovatore,” Germont in “La Traviata,” Escamillo in “Carmen,” Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni. Belov won first place in the George London Competition, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. His baritone voice has been described as rich and mellifluous by the New York Times and that of an emerging star by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Gunn, an award-winning soprano and adjunct professor of music at Linfield, has performed with various groups, including the Portland Baroque Orchestra and Portland Chamber Orchestra. She has been honored by several major artist competitions including the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award, the National Opera Association, the Metropolitan Opera National Council and the Gerda Lissner Foundation in New York City. She holds a master of music degree from Portland State University.

Madsen Bradford, a 1996 Linfield graduate, performs regularly throughout the West Coast and has appeared with Portland Opera, Tacoma Opera, Skagit Opera, Oregon Symphony, Juneau Symphony, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Opera Theater Oregon, Des Moines Metro Opera and others. She has performed roles in “Carmen,” “Hänsel und Gretel,” “Gianni Schicchi,” “The Beggar’s Opera,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Candide,” “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” and several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

Formisano is a native of Torre del Greco and a leading soloist throughout the United States. His recent operatic appearances include the roles of Rodolfo in “La Bohème,” Cavaradossi in “Tosca,” Nemorino in “Elixir of Love” by Donizetti and the Young Gypsy in “Aleko” by Rachmaninoff.

The Lacroute Arts Series at Linfield College is made possible by the generosity of Ronni Lacroute, Linfield College trustee and arts benefactor. The series, sponsored by the Lacroute Arts Fund at Linfield College, is dedicated to helping the college present arts events and activities for the campus and community. It provides programs featuring artists in the areas of music, art and visual culture, and theatre and communication arts.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-883-2275 or visit www.linfield.edu/arts.