The Metropolitan Opera Guild


Study Days 
Our upcoming Study Day will be hosted as a live webinar. Taking place on a single day with one morning and one afternoon session, this Study Day provides the opportunity to explore the world of opera in tighter focus.  
Registered participants will receive access to revisit each webinar for 72 hours after the live presentation.  
SATURDAY MAY 8 11AM–12:30PM and 1:30–3PM  
Matthew Timmermans  
What did the term “bel canto” mean, where did it go, and how did it resurface in the 1950s? This Study Day will provide the opportunity to explore these questions through operas of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. Comparing the first performers of these operas to those in the 20th century, this two-part series explores the art of bel canto.  
Part 1: Rossini and Bellini  
The morning session explores what makes a bel canto opera and how they are performed. Utilizing Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviliga and Bellini’s Il Pirata, lecturer Matthew Timmermans examines what audiences expect at these performances, past and present, and the virtuosic freedom given to performers. This lecture includes historical performances by Maria Callas, Teresa Berganza, William Matteuzzi, and Tito Gobbi.  
Part 2: Donizetti and Verdi  
The afternoon session examines how the conventions seen in Rossini’s operas remain and differ in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux and Verdi’s Nabucco. Matthew Timmermans explores how singing styles rapidly changed in the 19th century and how 20th-century singers like Beverly Sills, Montserrat Caballé, John Alexander, and Piero Cappuccilli attempted to emulate and exceed their predecessors. 



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