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Release: Aug. 29, 2001

Music of Verdi featured in International Programs' Distinguished Lecture Series

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Four leading international Verdi scholars will visit the University of Iowa this fall to share their insights on the life and music of one of the most famous and popular composers of all times as part of International Programs' Distinguished Lecture Series "Perspectives on the Music of Verdi."

The series is coordinated by Roberta Marvin, an associate professor in the UI School of Music, with support from International Programs, the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization and the Office of the Vice President for Research. All of the lectures are free and open to the public. A reception will follow each lecture.

The series is especially significant because it commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of Verdi, Marvin said.

"These leading Verdi scholars are pioneers in shaping the current profile of opera studies," Marvin says. "This is a tremendous opportunity to learn of insights from today's leading Verdi scholars from both sides of the Atlantic."

The first lecture in the series is Monday, Sept. 10, when Roger Parker, professor of music at Cambridge University, will present "Of Recognition Scenes and Andalusian Maidens: Crossed Wires in 'Il trovatore' and 'La traviata'" at 7:30 p.m. at the Voxman Music Building (VMB), Harper Hall. Parker will explore the connections between two of Verdi's most popular operas, which premiered within weeks of each other.

Parker formerly taught at Cornell and Oxford. He was founding co-editor of the "Cambridge Opera Journal" and is coordinating editor (with Gabriele Dotto) of the Donizetti Critical Edition. He has published widely on nineteenth-century Italian opera, his most recent book being "Leonora's Last Act," (Princeton University Press,1997). Parker's critical re-examination of traditional assumptions and entrenched attitudes about Verdi and his music has done much to change the profile of Verdi studies.

For more information or special accommodations to attend any of these lectures, contact Blythe Burkhardt, International Programs, (319) 335-1436.

All presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Voxman Music Building, Harper Hall. Other lectures in the series are:

Tuesday, Oct. 9: Julian Budden, an English musicologist and former BBC radio producer, will speak on "100 Years of Verdi." This lecture will trace the shifting perspectives on Verdi's music over the century since his death with illustrations and musical examples. Budden is one of the most revered scholars in Italian 19th-century opera studies. He is the author of the monumental three-volume study of Verdi's operas that has served the musical community for two decades and of a new comprehensive study on the operas of Puccini. He is on the editorial board of "The Works of Giuseppe Verdi" and a fellow in the British Academy. Budden does not make many public appearances in the United States, and this lecture will provide Iowa City residents a unique opportunity to hear one of the legendary British scholars of Italian opera.

Monday, Oct. 22: Pierluigi Petrobelli, professor of musicology at the University of Rome-La Sapienza, will speak on "Verdi's Political Message." His lecture will take a fresh look at the all-important aspects of Verdi's involvement in Italian political life during the turbulent 19th century and will attempt to clarify and correct myths that have arisen about the position of the composer and his music during those times and after. Petrobelli formerly taught at the Universities of Perugia, Parma, and California-Berkeley as well as at King's College, London, and Harvard University. Since 1980 he has served as director of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani in Parma, Italy, and is the editor of "Studi Verdiani." In this capacity, he has expanded the activities of the Istituto to achieve international status, organized a number of important conferences and exhibitions, and has been responsible for several landmark publications in Verdi scholarship.

Monday, December 10: Philip Gossett, the W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago, will speak on, "Verdi the Craftsman." Gossett's honors include the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society (1969), the Grand Ufficiale (1996) and Cavaliere di Gran Croce (1998) of the Italian government, honorary membership in the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna (1992), and fellowships from the NEH and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has served as president of the American Musicological Society and of the Society for Textual Scholarship. He is currently general editor for both "The Works of Giuseppe Verdi" and the "Edizione critica delle opere di Gioachino Rossini" and serves on the editorial boards of "Nineteenth-Century Music," "Cambridge Opera Journal," and "Critical Inquiry." He has published widely on 19th-century music, Italian opera, especially Rossini and Verdi; Beethoven sketch studies, aesthetics, textual criticism, musical notation, and performance practice and frequently lectures and consults for opera houses and festivals in America and Italy.