The art of singing as it flourished in Italy from the mid-1700s through the first decades of the 19th century will be on grand display beginning tonight when the Hodgson School of Music and UGA Opera Theatre present a Gala concert of highlights from ten different operas by the greatest composers of Bel Canto era music, including Donizetti, Rossini, and Bellini:
The era of Bel Canto, which translates to “Beautiful Singing,” was a style of singing and composing from the early decades of the 19th century. This style of singing and music is still a primary focus of opera companies world-wide.
The concert will be a major collaboration of three large Music School organizations, UGA Opera Theatre, UGA Symphony Orchestra, and the Hodgson Singers. There will be twelve soloists singing arias, duets, quartets, quintets, and ensembles of some of this era’s most beautiful music. The decision to choosing this program, according to Frederick Burchinal, the Wyatt and Margaret Anderson Professorship in the Arts, was to offer “our student singers the opportunity to learn and perform these great operas and the style of singing and to bring to our audiences this “sample platter” of operas that our limited resources and facilities prevents us from offering as complete operas.”
“The Opera Theatre wishes to bring to Athens the widest variety of music to inspire the listener to learn more about this era as we did last year with the VIVA VERDI GALA where nine different Verdi operas were presented,” says Burchinal. The Opera Department, which includes International Opera Coach Kathryn Wright, decided on the Bel Canto era of music for the October opera because of its focus on the singers’ skills and technical prowess above all. The singers of the time were able to “showoff” with their abilities with long dramatic cadenzas, an abundance of upper range notes, long florid legato phrases, rapid fire runs, extended trills and embellishments, and extreme dynamic contrasts. All of these aspects make the operatic selections in the Fall UGA Opera Theatre performance so exciting.
Performances will take place on October 18th and 19th at 7:30 pm in Hodgson Concert Hall. Our music performance students and faculty are truly outstanding and this program in particular showcases their high-level training in what will be a treat for audiences of all ages. Tickets.