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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Brown previews opera run

“I think people are often nervous about opera because they are afraid they won’t understand it,” said Jennifer Brown, Music, an opera historian. “But it’s about the basic things in life: love, death, sex, power, money, greed. It’s all these things played out with gorgeous music, with gorgeous costumes and it’s immediately gripping.”

Grinnell students and faculty, as well as the community at large, were welcomed this past Saturday to watch a live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of “Ernani” by Giuseppe Verdi. “Manon” by French composer Massanet will be broadcast on April 7th and Verdi’s “La Traviata” will be broadcast on April 14. The 2012-2013 season will begin with a broadcast of Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” on Oct. 13 and will end with a broadcast of Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” on April 27. The screenings are free to students and refreshments are provided during intermission. Prior to each showing there will be a half-hour opera talk, with the shows beginning at noon.

“Next season I hope that we will draw on a variety of faculty members and community members,” said Brown, who has been the sole lecturer this season.

Bringing the opera to Grinnell was one goal of President Kington when he began his presidency. Rachel Bly ’93, Director of Conference Operations and Events, also played an active role in the project.

“I think it breaks down some of the isolation people feel living in the middle of a corn field,” Brown said. “This is the Olympics of singing, and even if you don’t know about it much, just watching it there under your nose is quite astonishing. On behalf of the music department and the entire community, I’d like to express my thanks to President Kington who spearheaded this effort and to Rachel Bly who made it happen.”

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