In the annals of creative endeavor relatively few artists have continued to grow and innovate throughout their career, much the less so in careers spanning fifty years or more. Some names that come to mind are Paul Cézanne, Mark Twain, William Butler Yeats, Alfred Hitchcock, Irving Berlin – and Giuseppe Verdi.
“San Diego OperaTalk: Double Verdi” could just as accurately be titled “Verdi, Young & Old.” The two operas discussed by host Dr. Nicolas (Nic) Reveles represent distinct stages in Verdi’s artistic development: “La Traviata” stems from Verdi’s celebrated middle period, while “Falstaff,” the composer’s last opera, was composed at the age of eighty.
Through a combination of anecdotes, analysis, historical commentary, and musical excerpts, Dr. Nic guides the audience through the evolution of Verdi’s style over the forty years separating the two works, moving from the comparatively straightforward construction of “La Traviata” to the through-composed idiosyncrasies and surprises of “Falstaff.” Along the way Nic examines the conventions of Italian opera during Verdi’s lifetime; his sources of inspiration; the composer’s relationship to his audience; distinctive features of Verdi’s orchestrations; his love of Shakespeare; and his devotion to dramatic verisimilitude. With the assistance of soprano Cherylyn Larson and baritone Bernardo Bermudez, Nic presents characteristic excerpts from each opera to better illustrate Verdi’s evolving approach to issues of theme and structure.
Taken together, “La Traviata” and “Falstaff” provide to the neophyte and opera veteran alike a fascinating, supremely melodic glimpse into the inner creative life of one of our greatest composers.
Contributed by arts and humanities producer John Menier
Watch San Diego OperaTalk: Double Verdi
Did you know that in addition to watching UCTV programs on your television and your computer you can also take them with you in the form of a video or audio podcast?
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All living things are the product of evolutionary processes. Since the goals of the health sciences are to prevent disease, maintain health and treat illnesses, it follows that an understanding of evolutionary mechanisms and processes in the context of human origins is of vital importance. New applications of evolutionary biology to medicine and health are developing fast, with special opportunities for contributions from anthropogeny. Exploring the constraints and trade-offs involved in the evolutionary transition to humans is crucial for understanding diseases of our species.
From inherited syndromes, to heart disease, from breast milk to the evolution of sleep, this symposium brings together experts who discuss advances as they apply to the prevention and treatment of various illnesses such as obesity and other metabolic diseases, sleep disorders, problems associated with reproductive health, and disorders resulting from inappropriate immune responses, all viewed in the context of the crucible of our human origins.
Watch Implications of Anthropogeny for Medicine and Public Health.
Arts and music education in public schools has suffered cutbacks in recent years, due to tightening budgets and shifting priorities. In response many community organizations have rallied to the cause, inaugurating or expanding programs designed to engender an interest in the arts in young audiences, both as participants and as future audience members.
One such initiative is La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ annual Young People’s Concert, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla. Students from San Diego area schools are invited to attend an open rehearsal with a presentation by conductor Steven Schick, who provides commentary from the podium and fields questions from the audience.
The focus of the 2016 concert is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, one of the cornerstones of the classical repertoire. Schick guides the students through an exploration of the Symphony’s structure, illustrating through musical excerpts how Beethoven used simple means in innovative ways to construct his piece. He also discusses the role of the orchestra’s various instruments and sections (e.g., brass) in shaping the sound, demonstrates how the composer uses interconnected themes throughout, and considers how Beethoven’s work differs from the composers who preceded and influenced him.
Often humorous, always informative, the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus Young People’s Concert 2016 affords viewers (both young and older) a lively introduction to one of the masterworks of Western music.
Watch Young People’s Concert 2016 – La Jolla Symphony & Chorus