OLLA News & Events

October Seminar: Verdi - The Creative Arc from Nabucco to Rigoletto

October 8, 2017

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Thayer Concert Hall at the Colburn School
200 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

New Member Orientation: 11am in the Colburn Café

Program: 11:30am to 1:30pm

Speaker: Dr. Kristi Brown-Montesano, Chair of Music History and Literature at the Colburn School

Singer: Mario Chang, Tenor, Operalia Winner

Click here to order tickets.

Just announced! Tenor Mario Chang, winner of the top three awards for male singer at Operalia (first prize, audience winner and zarzuela prize), will be performing selections from Verdi's operas. He will be appearing in LA Opera's upcoming production of Nabucco as Ismaele. Don't miss this exciting chance to hear this fantastic artist in an intimate venue. Mr. Chang will be accompanied by Nino Sanikidze, head coach of the Young Artist Program.

Mourning the recent deaths of his two young children and beloved wife—and reeling from professional humiliation when his second opera was hissed off the stage—young Giuseppe Verdi resolved never to compose again. But Nabucco (1842) marked Verdi’s personal risorgimento, the “rising again” of a musical force who would come to define Italian opera for generations of listeners.

Dr. Kristi Brown-Montesano will explore the fascinating historical context of this foundational early work as well as its musical treasures, from the vividly drawn title character Nebuchadnezzar to the stirring choruses that give voice to the oppressed both on and offstage. She will also trace the development of Verdi's style from this foundational early triumph to his later masterstroke, Rigoletto.


Tenor Mario Chang

Guatemalan tenor Mario Chang won the top three awards for male singer at Operalia 2014: first prize, zarzuela prize and audience prize. Mr. Chang is an emsemble member of Frankfurt Oper, and will be appearing in the 2017/2018 season as the Duke in Rigoletto, Werther, Lenksy in Eugene Onegin and Roberto Devereux. He has been a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, where his roles include the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier. Recent highlights include Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Santa Fe, Rodolfo in La Boheme with Los Angeles Opera, and Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore with the Metropolitan Opera. Other recent highlights include a concert in Puerto Rico with Teatro de la Opera, the Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, his Carnegie Hall debut with the Musical Olympus Foundation, and his debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne. Other recent operatic performances include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Teatro Lirico d’Europa and Fritz in L’Amico Fritz with Miami Lyric Opera. (www.MarioChang.com)


Kristi Brown-Montesano

Dr. Kristi Brown-Montesano received her Ph.D. in musicology from UC Berkeley, combining her strong interest in both musical performance and scholarly research. Her book The Women of Mozart’s Operas (University of California Press, 2007) offers a detailed study of the female characters in the Da Ponte operas as well as The Magic Flute. Dr. Brown-Montesano has presented and published essays on music in contemporary film, opera, trends in marketing classical music and musical culture in late 19th century England. A passionate “public musicologist,” she has also been a frequent lecturer for the Opera League, Colburn Chamber Music Society, LA Opera’s Opera for Educators seminars and the Salon des Musiques chamber music series; this season, she will join the faculty of LA Phil's Upbeat Live lecture series.

She presented the League seminar on The Tales of Hoffmann last March.

Click here to order tickets.

Author: Thomas Lady

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