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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 14, 2002
Giuseppe Verdi, the greatest opera composer of them all, hated to receive unsolicited librettos. "It is impossible, or almost impossible, for someone else to divine what I want," he said. But Roman Catholicism's liturgy for the dead - the Requiem Mass - was another story. When Verdi took that text -with its evocations of holy light, hellfire, the agonized groans of the damned, the blaring trumpets of the Day of Judgement - and set it to music, he created the most electrifying work of the choral canon.
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NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | October 11, 2013
The Columbia Orchestra starts its 36th season in a big way by performing Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School. This massive composition entails having the 80-member Columbia Orchestra joined by a 100-voice choir from Northern Virginia known as Choralis. Big numbers also add up for Columbia Orchestra Music Director Jason Love, who is in his 15th year in that position. His innovative and ambitious programs during that period have not gone unnoticed.
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NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 5, 2000
SHANGHAI, China - Giuseppe Verdi could never have imagined the music in his famous opera "Aida" upstaged by 1,650 People's Liberation Army soldiers and a trained elephant. But that's what happened Friday when 50,000 Chinese gathered to watch the world's biggest production ever of an opera. A cast of 2,200 performed the tale of doomed love between an Egyptian general and an Ethiopian princess-turned-slave girl as the centerpiece of this year's China Shanghai International Festival of the Arts.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2013
"Falstaff," the last of Giuseppe Verdi's operas, is a marvel. From the first notes, the musical inventiveness never stops. And, thanks in large measure to the libretto Arrigo Boito fashioned from Shakespeare, the opera is a continual theatrical delight, with many a delicious character and comic situations that still deliver. To wrap up its season, Wolf Trap Opera offers an exhilarating production of this gem. If you haven't been yet -- and, especially, if you are one of those folks who has never warmed to "Falstaff" (the piece rarely sets box offices ablaze)
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 2, 2002
With Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball), Giuseppe Verdi took giant stylistic strides, achieving a taut score that moved away from many operatic conventions of the day. Thanks to absurd censorship battles, the setting of the work's original plot moved away, too - from a European royal court, where a king was assassinated, to Colonial America, where a "governor of Boston" met the same fate. That change of venue never did make a lot of sense, but the power and imagination of Verdi's music survived the transfer.
NEWS
By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,SUN STAFF | November 23, 1997
For most people, looking at a catalytic converter doesn't bring thoughts of Chopin, a transaxle seems a long way from Tchaikovsky and a water pump isn't even close to Wagner.But they all come together at Johns Hopkins Texaco Service Center in Fulton. That's because every other Saturday, part-time mechanic Bob Trolinger works on cars while he blasts classical music from a small but powerful boombox at the service station on Johns Hopkins Road."It's soothing, inspiring, stirring," the 41-year-old Ellicott City resident says of the music playing in the service bay. "It puts me in a very good mood to do my work."
NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | October 11, 2013
The Columbia Orchestra starts its 36th season in a big way by performing Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School. This massive composition entails having the 80-member Columbia Orchestra joined by a 100-voice choir from Northern Virginia known as Choralis. Big numbers also add up for Columbia Orchestra Music Director Jason Love, who is in his 15th year in that position. His innovative and ambitious programs during that period have not gone unnoticed.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2013
The opera world has been giving a little extra attention to a couple of giants born in 1813, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Locally, that bicentennial salute has included memorable concerts by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra featuring excerpts from Wagner's mountainous operas. And this week, Lyric Opera Baltimore offers a production of one of Verdi's earliest masterworks for the stage, "Rigoletto. " The "Rigoletto" staging brings tenor Bryan Hymel back to town after his Lyric debut last season, when he made a formidable impression in Gounod's "Faust.
FEATURES
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 28, 2006
Faith didn't come easily, if at all, to Giuseppe Verdi. He saw too many failings in humankind to believe much in divine goodness, let alone an afterlife. But when confronted with the death of poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, someone he idolized, Verdi turned to the ancient Latin Mass for the Dead to express his feelings. In his Requiem, the composer spoke for believers and nonbelievers alike about the fear of death and the nature of supplication. Understandably, coming from Italy's greatest creator of operas, Verdi's Requiem owes as much to the theater as to liturgical idioms.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2012
Annapolis Opera is on fire with excitement about its 40th-anniversary season. That much is evident from its season brochure — the company's best ever — on which a flaming "V" proclaims a celebration of the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi's birth. Italy's pre-eminent composer will be honored at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis Opera's productions of two masterworks — a concert version of "Aida" and a fully staged "Rigoletto. " This season also celebrates the 25th annual Vocal Competition, which introduces outstanding young singers from the Mid-Atlantic region who compete for more than $10,000 in total prizes.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2013
The opera world has been giving a little extra attention to a couple of giants born in 1813, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Locally, that bicentennial salute has included memorable concerts by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra featuring excerpts from Wagner's mountainous operas. And this week, Lyric Opera Baltimore offers a production of one of Verdi's earliest masterworks for the stage, "Rigoletto. " The "Rigoletto" staging brings tenor Bryan Hymel back to town after his Lyric debut last season, when he made a formidable impression in Gounod's "Faust.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2013
The most famous, roof-rattling passage in Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" describes the "day of wrath" for the guilty as they face their eternal fate: "How great will be the terror when the Judge comes who will smash everything completely … Whatever is hidden will be revealed. Nothing shall remain unavenged. " To hear, let alone sing, those words in ordinary concert halls can be a pretty shattering experience. It is difficult to grasp what it must have been like for the Jewish prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp who performed the Verdi work 16 times in 1943-1944, having learned the music by heart - there was only one score for 150 singers.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2012
Annapolis Opera is on fire with excitement about its 40th-anniversary season. That much is evident from its season brochure — the company's best ever — on which a flaming "V" proclaims a celebration of the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi's birth. Italy's pre-eminent composer will be honored at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis Opera's productions of two masterworks — a concert version of "Aida" and a fully staged "Rigoletto. " This season also celebrates the 25th annual Vocal Competition, which introduces outstanding young singers from the Mid-Atlantic region who compete for more than $10,000 in total prizes.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2010
Six years ago, at Catholic University in Washington, there was an unusual presentation of Giuseppe Verdi's monumental Requiem for soloists, chorus and orchestra. The last notes of the score gave way to very different music, coming softly from the choristers. As they filed off the stage and left the hall, they softly intoned a chant from the Kaddish of the Jewish liturgy. When those sounds, too, faded away, there was no applause from the audience. Only some muffled sobs could be heard in the darkened room.
FEATURES
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 28, 2006
Faith didn't come easily, if at all, to Giuseppe Verdi. He saw too many failings in humankind to believe much in divine goodness, let alone an afterlife. But when confronted with the death of poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, someone he idolized, Verdi turned to the ancient Latin Mass for the Dead to express his feelings. In his Requiem, the composer spoke for believers and nonbelievers alike about the fear of death and the nature of supplication. Understandably, coming from Italy's greatest creator of operas, Verdi's Requiem owes as much to the theater as to liturgical idioms.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 2, 2002
With Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball), Giuseppe Verdi took giant stylistic strides, achieving a taut score that moved away from many operatic conventions of the day. Thanks to absurd censorship battles, the setting of the work's original plot moved away, too - from a European royal court, where a king was assassinated, to Colonial America, where a "governor of Boston" met the same fate. That change of venue never did make a lot of sense, but the power and imagination of Verdi's music survived the transfer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2013
The most famous, roof-rattling passage in Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" describes the "day of wrath" for the guilty as they face their eternal fate: "How great will be the terror when the Judge comes who will smash everything completely … Whatever is hidden will be revealed. Nothing shall remain unavenged. " To hear, let alone sing, those words in ordinary concert halls can be a pretty shattering experience. It is difficult to grasp what it must have been like for the Jewish prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp who performed the Verdi work 16 times in 1943-1944, having learned the music by heart - there was only one score for 150 singers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2013
"Falstaff," the last of Giuseppe Verdi's operas, is a marvel. From the first notes, the musical inventiveness never stops. And, thanks in large measure to the libretto Arrigo Boito fashioned from Shakespeare, the opera is a continual theatrical delight, with many a delicious character and comic situations that still deliver. To wrap up its season, Wolf Trap Opera offers an exhilarating production of this gem. If you haven't been yet -- and, especially, if you are one of those folks who has never warmed to "Falstaff" (the piece rarely sets box offices ablaze)
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 14, 2002
Giuseppe Verdi, the greatest opera composer of them all, hated to receive unsolicited librettos. "It is impossible, or almost impossible, for someone else to divine what I want," he said. But Roman Catholicism's liturgy for the dead - the Requiem Mass - was another story. When Verdi took that text -with its evocations of holy light, hellfire, the agonized groans of the damned, the blaring trumpets of the Day of Judgement - and set it to music, he created the most electrifying work of the choral canon.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 5, 2000
SHANGHAI, China - Giuseppe Verdi could never have imagined the music in his famous opera "Aida" upstaged by 1,650 People's Liberation Army soldiers and a trained elephant. But that's what happened Friday when 50,000 Chinese gathered to watch the world's biggest production ever of an opera. A cast of 2,200 performed the tale of doomed love between an Egyptian general and an Ethiopian princess-turned-slave girl as the centerpiece of this year's China Shanghai International Festival of the Arts.
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