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Music Appreciation Series - Five Signature Operas by Verdi (6S – The Secret Key to Verdi’s World of Opera)

Venue Date & Time Price
Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Space Museum
17.4 - 29.5.2013, Every Wed, 7:30pm, 6 lectures in total, except 1 May 2013$50
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Conducted in Cantonese

About the Lecture

The opera is generally regarded as the most august and sublime genre in Western music.  It is an art form which gives the listener vocal music with its awesome grandeur and great music of an infinite and transcendental beauty.  The opera is also a tri-partite union of music, the theatre, and the visual arts.  In point of fact, the opera is a complex, multi-disciplinary art form integrating literature (the libretto), theatre (dramaturgy and acting), the visual arts (stage design, lighting and costume), and dance.  With so many factors involved, the degree of difficulty of mounting an opera is high, but the interest it engenders in the audience is proportionately great.  The only question is: how do we go about appreciating it?

In 19th Century Europe, there emerged a good number of operatic composers who distinguished themselves by merging new techniques with new compositional styles.  Their output included a large quantity of works with compelling dramatic force and the utmost musical beauty, which to this day still form the mainstay of the leading opera houses all over the world.  It was indeed the most glorious age for European opera, and Giuseppe Verdi (10.10.1813 – 27.1.1901), whose bicentenary is being celebrated around the world this year, may rightfully be called a colossus in the operatic world.

This series of talks aims at introducing the speaker's "6S" key to the appreciation of opera for beginners, devised on the basis of his many years of opera appreciation experience.  Hopefully, with the application of this "key", the listeners may enter the realm of Verdi's operas, and from there proceed on to the appreciation of the great art of the opera in general.

Verdi was a prolific composer and wrote at least 28 operas in his lifetime.  Most of these are “extravaganzas”, requiring large and elaborate sets.  Music-wise, they feature a lot of innovations to the traditional operatic forms – the rhythm becomes brisker, long drawn out scenes are cut to reduce boredom, and the episodes become more connected; the melodies are catchy and well-suited for expressing the delicate feelings of the characters,etc.. For the contents, there is more universal appeal and carries stronger humanistic touches, while the atrocities, vicissitudes and happiness that are common to all men are featured to elicit maximum response from the audience.  The five operas selected for these talks are four from the composer’s mature period - Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Traviata and Aida - and one from his later years when he was regarded to have scaled new heights in the operatic art form: Otello.

Each talk will feature audio and video excerpts from the relevant operas, in order to enhance audiences' interest and understanding of the topics concerned.  Those who are interested in knowing more about operas are strongly encouraged to attend the first talk, when we shall concentrate on the "6S" method of operatic initiation.

17 / 4

The Jewel on the Artistic Crown - The 6S key to operatic appreciation

24 / 4


8 / 5

Il Trovatore(1853)

15 / 5

La traviata(1853)

22 / 5


29 / 5


Details of lectures please refer to Chinese version

About the Lecturer

Details refer to Chinese version


Tickets available from 18 March onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Credit Card Telephone Booking.

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).

Group Booking Discount

10% off for each purchase of 4-9 standard tickets; 15% off for 10-19 standard tickets; 20% off for 20 or more standard tickets.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.


Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321

Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009

Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999

Internet Booking : www.urbtix.hk

The contents of this programme do not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

The presenter reserves the right to substitute speakers and change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.


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