Love, Death, and Music in Vincenzo Bellini's 'Norma'
Wednesday, January 25th at 6pm
Italian Cultural Institute
500 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450
Registration at https://norma2017.eventbrite.com
Bellini's celebrated opera Norma received its first performance at the celebrated Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 1831, and will be given at Lyric Opera of Chicago from January 28 to February 24th. Join two of the artists involved in this production, conductor Riccardo Frizza and bass Andrea Silvestrelli, for a discussion of the music and drama of this masterpiece of the Bel Canto repertoire. The event will be moderated by Prof. Jesse Rosenberg, who will present a brief historical overview the work.
Award-winning Italian maestro Riccardo Frizza is a galvanic presence on the podium, inspiring performances as exhilarating as they are expressive. Championed by Alberto Zedda, Bruno Cagli, and Gian Carlo Menotti, he is a leading exponent of bel canto repertoire, collaborating with today’s most iconic singers at opera houses from Milan’s Teatro alla Scala to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In the concert hall, he graces the podiums of such world-class ensembles as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Tokyo Symphony, while his extensive discography includes Decca’s Una furtiva lagrima, winner of the 2004 Cannes Classical Award.
The Italian bass, who has previously portrayed Oroveso at the Finnish National Opera, has most recently performed in the Ring Cycle (Tyrolean Festival in Erl, Austria – his third Ring with the company), and as the Grand Inquisitor/ Don Carlo and Don Basilio/The Barber of Seville (both at San Francisco Opera). Silvestrelli is a favorite at these venues, having also portrayed King Marke/Tristan und Isolde and King Henry/Lohengrin in Erl, and the Nightwatchman/Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Wurm/Luisa Miller, Pistola/Falstaff, and Sparafucile/ Rigoletto in San Francisco. He reprises his Sparafucile there later this season, along with Hagen/Götterdämmerung in Houston. The bass’s successes in Wagner and Verdi are mirrored by achievements in Mozart, including the Commendatore/Don Giovanni (Lyric, La Scala, London, Bologna, Parma, Paris, Los Angeles, among many other companies), Sarastro (Philadelphia, Tel Aviv, Santa Fe), and Osmin (Lyric, San Francisco, Houston, Munich). Silvestrelli has recorded Donizetti’s rarely heard Adelia (CD, Haydn Orchestra), as well as Don Carlo (CD, La Scala Orchestra, Riccardo Muti conducting) and Rigoletto (DVD, Toscanini Foundation Orchestra). Among his previous successes in concert have been Verdi’s Requiem (Siena, Sydney, Munich), Rossini’s Stabat Mater (Berlin), Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw), and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria (Hamburg).
Jesse Rosenberg received his PhD from New York University, and has been on the musicology faculty of Northwestern University since 1998. Both as a scholar and teacher he specializes in 19th-century Italian opera, and has published his researches on Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Mascagni, as well as studies on opera and religion.
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Free and open to the public.