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Opera: Inside the Music

  • S. Dillon Ripley Center - The Smithsonian Institute 1100 Jefferson Drive Southwest Washington, DC, 20001 United States (map)

Patrick will sing arias by Wagner and Cavalli.

For the past 500 years, opera has been offering audiences spectacle, drama, astonishing vocal feats, and a marriage of words and music that makes both more powerful. Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop and pianist Ken Weiss explore the musical and theatrical building blocks of the form in a fascinating day equally suited to those who want an introduction to the art and to fans looking to deepen their understanding of opera’s nuts and bolts.

Examine works by composers from Mozart to Verdi and Wagner to Puccini to discover common forms and traditions that underlie all of operatic history, and learn how the influences of singers, librettists, and composers have combined to shape the art’s evolution. Look at historical accounts to learn what the creators of classic operas were aiming at with their works, and what audiences throughout opera history expected when they came to the theater.

Performance videos and musical recordings are combined with live performances by singers of the Potomac Vocal Institute.

Earlier Event: October 15
Musto - Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt
Later Event: March 18
Rimsky-Korsakov - Sadko