Sep 26, 2010

Due Giuseppi at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum

on Sunday, October 17

On Sunday, October 17 at 1 p.m., the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum will host an audio visual presentation by Lou Barrella of “Due Giuseppi: Celebrating the Life of Garibaldi via the Music of Verdi.”

While General Giuseppe Garibaldi was the best known—and best loved—military figure in the Risorgimento movement in Italy, the contributions of composer Giuseppe Verdi to Italy’s unification were as important, if a bit more subtle. In 19th-century Italy, opera was not just an entertainment, it was an arena of political and cultural life for men and women of all classes, and for Verdi, musical and political revolution went hand in hand. In his third opera, Nabucco, written in 1842, he used the biblical story of the Hebrews' captivity in Babylon to raise the freedom cry for Italy. Italian patriots adopted "Va Pensiero" from Nabucco as their anthem.

Barrella will trace how both the actions of Giuseppe Garibaldi and the music of Giuseppe Verdi had a positive impact on the Italian Risorgimento. Musical excerpts from Verdi’s operas will interject a summary of the historical undertakings of his compatriot, reminding us of how both military action and artistic expression in the theater influenced the politics and populace of their times, ultimately giving rise to the unification of Italy, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year.

Barrella is a master teacher who knows how to intrigue and motivate one’s curiosity. His teaching style goes beyond mere lecturing as he shares his appreciation, experience, enjoyment and understanding of the arts and humanities, especially Italian opera, with his audience. His commitment to sharing with others is evidenced by his coordination of opera trips for schools and cultural organizations, giving the groups pre-performance lectures to enhance their upcoming experiences.

During his 35 years as a dedicated music educator, Barrella has conducted symphonic bands and choruses, taught music and opera appreciation and collaborated with many cultural organizations. Since 1998 he has also given workshops and made presentations for the Education Department of theMetropolitan Opera Guild. Over the years Mr. Barrella has been a guest lecturer for many cultural organizations and has made presentations at Brooklynand Wagner colleges; at Fordham, Hofstra and St. John’s universities; at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum and at the Italian Culture Museum of Queens College, CUNY. In 2003, he received the Dr. Leonard Covello Lifetime Achievement Award from the Italian Teachers’ Association for his Outstanding Contributions to Italian Culture.

So come hear about the inspiring exploits of the General, accompanied by the exciting music of the Maestro. Seating is limited. Admission of $10 for non-members and $5 for members includes a light reception.

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