For many years, Opera Guild of Rochester has delivered free lectures on a wide range of opera topics. We do these to provide historical background and musical context for operas and composers, and to present operas that the audience might otherwise not have access to or that might prove difficult to understand or appreciate.
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For instance, Peter Dundas's lecture on Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra is a good example. This opera was a flop when it was first presented in 1857 and yet it contained some of the most beautiful music he ever wrote.
The problem was that the plot is so complicated that few people understand what is happening. Verdi got Boito to help him with this problem and the opera was reintroduced in 1881. It was better and more dramatic but still not accepted by the general public.
Peter's lecture will have 30 minutes of talking and 80 minutes of video clips. He will explain the plot between the various clips, to give the audience a better perspective. This opera is Peter's favorite Verdi, an opinion shared by several conductors and music critics.