Opera is My Hobby Friday 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
One of the longest running shows on American radio, Opera Is My Hobby debuted on Kansas Public Radio (then KANU) in September 1952, during the very first week the station was on the air! Every week, Dr. James Seaver selects recordings from his vast collection of LPs, CDs, 78s and even wax cylinder recordings for programs spotlighting legendary performers of the past, as well as up- and-coming singers. Recent shows have included tributes to tenor Jussi Bjoerling and soprano Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, highlights from the Victor Blue Label recordings from the early 20th-century, plus excerpts from Mozart's The Magic Flute and Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus.
The artist(s): 22 August: Excerpts from Verdi's First Opera--OBERTO, CONTE DI SAN BONIFACIO
The great Italian composer of opera Giuseppe Verdi was the son of illiterate Italian peasants who ran the local tavern at Roncole in the Duchy of Parma in Italy. Giuseppe was born on 10 October 1813. He became interested in music as a child and learned how to play the village church organ. He wrote his first music when he was only fifteen years of age. Rejected by the Milan Conseratory of Music when he was sixteen, he studied music at Busseto with Ferdinand Prevetti.
In 1836 Verdi received his first operatic commission. It was to write an opera for the Teatro Filodrammatico in Milan. The opera he wrote for this theater, entitled ROCHESTER, was never performed and perhaps never completed. Only fragments of it remain. Three years later, in the spring of 1839, Merelli, director of the La Scala Theater in Milan, persuaded Verdi to write an opera for his theater. This was to be Verdi's first opera--OBERTO, CONTE DI SAN BONIFACIO--which had a big success on 17 November 1839.
The plot of Verdi's opera is quite complicated, concerning warfare between nobles in medieval Italy during the thirteenth century; but the music is very melodious, resembling the operatic style of Bellini. Among the best numbers are two arias for the tenor and the long father/daughter duet for Oberto and Leonora, which will be sung by Rolando Panerai and Ghena Dimitrova. The tenor aria from Act I will be sung by the famous Verdian tenor Carlo Bergonzi.
Engineer(s): Chubias Smith