Opera composer celebrated in concert, song
Linfield music department held famous operas by Italian Composer Guiseppe Verdi. “Verdi Celebration” was held in honor of Verdi’s 200 year anniversary of his birth on Nov. 12.
On this day there are many concerts and celebrations held worldwide in honor of Verdi.
Soloists Assistant Professor of Music Anton Belov, adjunct professor Natalie Gunn, 1996 alumna Beth Madsen Bradford and leading U.S. soloist Giovanni Formisano all performed Verdi’s operas along with the Linfield Concert Choir and accompanist Susan McDaniel.
Assistant Professor of music Anna Song directed the concert, she is also the director of choral activities.
The operas featured in the concert mainly followed Verdi’s the timeline of Verdi’s life beginning in 1844 with his earliest success “Ernani” in 1844.
The concert ended with “Falstaff” in 1893 that was inspired by Shakespeare’s production along with his other composition “Otello” in 1887.
The final opera performed by all four soloists and the choir was “Nabucco” in 1842, which Verdi composed after his first and unsuccessful composition “Oberto” in 1840.
“Nabucco” was inspired by the history of Hebrew Enslavement in and Babylonian captivity.
According to the Verdi Celebration program, this opera contains political connotations of from this time when northern Italy was under Austrian rule.
During this time the Verdi’s piece became an anthem of the Italian unification movement.
The unification was a time of liberation and political joining of Italy from 1750-1850.
Verdi is one of the main music figures that the Linfield’s music department studies.
“Verdi is a major figure in opera, so the music history curriculum covers him and his contributions to the art of opera,” Song said.
“His most famous choral work is the “Requiem,” but we have not yet performed that here on campus, as it calls for a huge orchestra and double choir—a bit beyond the forces we have at Linfield.”
The concert was free and open to the public.
There was also a pre-discussion before the concert that provided political and historical insight, which related to Verdi’s compositions during the nineteenth century in Italy.
“Verdi was able to infuse many of his operas with Italian nationalism in spite of attempts to censor his works,” Song Said.
“The Verdi Celebration was a very memorable concert. It was wonderful to hear a sampling of operatic excerpts as well as the Linfield choir,” senior Zachary Davis said.
“Dr. Belov’s per-concert talk [‘Verdi’s Operas and Changing Social Values in nineteenth Century Italy’] was also quite
and tied in perfectly with the theme of the evening.”
Verdi died in 1901. And his funeral, which was held in Milan, Italy was and remains Italy’s largest public assembly out of all the events in the country’s history.
At Verdi’s funeral, Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini combined a performance that featured many choirs and orchestras from Italy.
The “Verdi Celebration was a part of the Lacroute Art Series’s theme “The Arts of Social Change.” The theme explores a variety of arts and how they relate to social changes throughout different events. The series works to help bring and support art and music events and activities for Linfield college and the McMinnville community.
The music department will also be putting on Jazz Night on Wednesday, Nov. 20 that will feature the Linfield Jazz Band. Mariah Gonzales
Mariah Gonzales can be reached at email@example.com