Athenaeum Library Write Out Loud

Music Lectures

The History of Opera: 400 Years of Glorious Music!

Presented by Jacquelyne Silver

 

Thursdays, September 27 and October 4, 11, 18 & 25, 2018

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM.

 

“Where words fail, music speaks.”—Hans Christian Andersen

 

What is opera? What is its magnetic appeal? Why do some music lovers shy away from it, because they don’t understand it?  With her pianistic expertise and charismatic storytelling, Jacquelyne Silver will open the doors on how to look, listen, and appreciate the passionate and awe-inspiring world of musical drama: the glorious world of opera! Both seasoned opera lovers and beginning listeners will appreciate this insightful and inspiring series.

 

September 27 » The Beginnings of Opera: Florence, Venice, Naples

It was in Florence during the Renaissance that a group called the Florentine Camerata proposed the idea of merging drama with music and called it opera. The magical worlds of poisoned rings, mysterious handsome strangers, and mad scenes captivated the audiences of Italy and beyond, and have continued to do so throughout the centuries! Jacquelyne Silver will define the types of voices used in opera, with superb musical examples from her personal collection. We will view footage of performances of early opera works, such as Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Handel’s Julius Caesar, and Purcell’s sumptuous Dido and Aeneas. An exciting entrance into the enthralling world of opera!

 

October 4 » Mozart, Salieri, and Gluck: The Classical Threesome

Mozart was the greatest composer of operas in the 18th century. The three works to librettos by Lorenzo da Ponte—The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte—are among the most perfect of all marriages of words and music. The Magic Flute is a magnificent work about the spiritual search for peace. A superb aria from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice will follow, and we’ll then address the music of Salieri—was he the man who poisoned Mozart?

 

October 11 » The Art of Bel Canto:  Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi

In opera, the early 19th century is called the age of bel canto (beautiful singing). That style dominated European and American stages during this period. Highly florid passages coupled with a rich, melodious sound were the demands for the bel canto voice. Rossini’s Barber of Seville is a stunning example of bel canto, as is Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Bellini’s Norma. We will enter the spectacular world of Giuseppe Verdi, beloved for his operas as well as his devotion to a unified Italy. We will view pieces of La Traviata, Aida and Rigoletto, as we learn about Verdi’s special techniques that make him numero uno in Italian operatic history.

 

October 18 » French Opera, High Italian Drama and Puccini

Georges Bizet’s Carmen, features “the most dangerous woman in opera,” who has made her mark throughout history. We will examine Bizet’s unique style and continue with Gounod’s bewitching Faust—the antihero who made a deal with the Devil. We’ll move into the Italian high dramas of Mascagni’s Cavalaria rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci—two monumental tragedies, overflowing with magnificent melody. We’ll enter the luminous world of Puccini—that master of magnificence, with La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, and Tosca.

 

October 25 » The Paradox of Wagner and English and American Opera

Richard Wagner—the name conjures up a visionary genius and a dislikeable political exile. Tannhauser, Lohengrin, and The Ring Cycle, all of them bigger than life, are the work of a singular mind. Our finale will take us to England, where the unique team of Gilbert and Sullivan gave us phenomenal comic operas such as The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore. In America, George Gershwin wrote his extraordinary Porgy and Bess and Scott Joplin gave us his captivating Treemonisha—a truly festive finale!    

 

 

Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

 

 

Individual tickets: $17 member / $22 nonmember

Series tickets: $75 member / $100 nonmember

To purchase individual tickets, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

 

Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.

 


Athenaeum Library Write Out Loud

Music Lectures

America’s Popular Music ... The Best of the Best

Presented by Bruno Leone: Pianist, Singer, Storyteller

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM.

 

“Where words fail, music speaks.”—Hans Christian Andersen

 

Pianist and storyteller Bruno Leone returns to the Athenaeum on November 13 to present a unique odyssey of outstanding songs and captivating stories highlighting the Golden Age of American popular music. His performance will include selected works from Broadway and Hollywood featuring those songs heralded as the best of the best. Bruno Leone’s approach to entertainment combines his dazzling mastery of the piano with the art of storytelling to create a variety of shows with appeal to people of all ages. You will find his compelling mixture of humor, song and story both captivating and enlightening. Mr. Leone’s performance will include selections by such notables as Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin. He will also feature the works of composers who did not quite achieved the name recognition as did some of their more prominent colleagues, but who, like the others, left behind a stellar legacy.

 

A widely acclaimed pianist and raconteur, Bruno Leone performs throughout the United States, where he plays, sings and chats his way through and around the lives and music of America’s celebrated composers and lyricists. Mr. Leone’s performances capture the legends and folklore of American popular music in a way achieved by few entertainers. A feature article in the San Diego Union-Tribune praised Mr. Leone’s “remarkable skill of combining the classroom with the concert hall to create musical stories that actually enliven his audience.”

 

About Bruno Leone:

Bruno Leone studied piano and began his musical career in the 1960’s in New York City. Although he later went on to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and began teaching at the university level, he continued to perform throughout the United States. During his musical career, he has accompanied such greats as Mel Tormé and Billy Daniels and has recorded 5 CDs which include Pure Broadway, Pure Cinema, Pure Romance, Pure Classics and Pure Christmas. His recordings are available at: Amazon.com & CDBaby.com

 

 

Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

 

 

Individual tickets: $17 member / $22 nonmember

 

Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.