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University of Iowa News Release

March 20, 2006

Opera Studies Lecture Series Continues With 'Whitman And Opera' March 31

The University of Iowa Opera Studies Group will discuss American opera in its spring 2006 lecture series. Denise Gallo, a senior music specialist at the Library of Congress, will present "Whitman and Opera: A Paradoxical Pairing" at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, in the Gerber Lounge of the English-Philosophy Building on the UI campus. The lecture will discuss Walt Whitman's conversion from opera critic to zealot. Gallo will focus on Whitman as a spectator and music critic and will discuss what he "heard" in the works of the primo Ottocento stage.

Through examples from the librettos Whitman owned and excerpts from operas that he attended, Gallo demonstrates how early nineteenth-century opera, with its rigid, predictable structures, proved a strange muse for the poet's free-flowing style Gallo, an active scholar, is currently one of the senior music specialists at the Library of Congress. Prior to joining the library staff, she was an assistant professor and the co-director of music history at The Catholic University of America, where she remains an adjunct professor. Gallo holds a doctorate in historical musicology with a specialization in nineteenth-century Italian opera. Her most recent publications include "Gioachino Rossini: A Guide to Research" and "Opera: The Basics."

This lecture is second in a series of three lectures that will be held this spring. For more information on the series or special accommodations to attend any of the lectures, contact Katherine Eberle at 319-335-1675.

The University of Iowa Opera Studies Group, affiliated with UI International Programs, was established in 1999 as a forum to foster the study of opera and related genres from interdisciplinary perspectives. The group's purpose is to bring together scholars who have a special expertise or interest in opera to share their views on various issues associated with research and performance of operatic works. For more information, visit:

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Katherine Eberle, 319-335-1675; Writer: Katie Chelminski