September Seminar: Verdi’s Don Carlo and Friedrich von Schiller

September 16, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 5th Floor

Orientation for New Members: 11:30 AM

Program: 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Speakers: Michael Hackett and Simon Williams

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Without the plays of Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), we would not have the Verdi operas Don Carlo, I Masnadieri, Luisa Miler, Giovanna d’Arco, or Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, nor would be have Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The English-speaking world today rarely reads or performs his plays, yet Schiller was wildly influential and popular in 19th century Europe. Our dream team of speakers, Michael Hackett and Simon Williams, will examine why Schiller is so important historically, both as a source for opera plots and how he influenced Verdi’s operatic output.


Michael Hackett      Simon Williams

Michael Hackett and Simon Williams

Michael Hackett is a professor of directing and theater history in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He has directed for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the Royal Theatre at The Hague; the Centrum Sztuki Studio and Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw; Santa Fe Short Story Festival; Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; the Los Angeles Opera (children’s series); Musica Angelica; the Geffen Playhouse; Antaeus Company; Getty Villa and Getty Center and fifteen radio productions for L.A. Theater Works. Known to opera audiences in Southern California, he has lectured extensively for the Opera League and for LA Opera and, in recognition of these activities, was given the Fifth Annual Peter Hemmings Award by the Opera League.

Simon Williams is a professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at UC Santa Barbara and a favorite speaker of the Opera League. He is widely known as an authority on opera, having spoken well over 200 times to several of the leading opera guilds and societies in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Notable was his presence at the Bayreuth Festival, where he delivered the English language audience lectures for three years. He has published two books on Wagner – Richard Wagner and Festival Theatre (Greenwood, 1994) and Wagner and the Romantic Hero (Cambridge University Press, 2004) – and has published chapters in multi-authored volumes on opera.

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Author: Thomas Lady

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