By Amanda Schreck
SC Staff Writer
Has music or a movie ever made you feel so many emotions all at once? Well, opera has done that for over four hundred years across the world.
Dr. Eugene Galperin, ESU Mathematics professor, has a passion for opera that he wants to share with students, faculty, and as many people as he can reach.
On April 21 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM in the Science and Technology Center’s Niedbala Auditorium, Galperin will be giving his eleventh talk entitled “Human Emotions on the Opera Stage: from the Baroque to Verismo.”
This talk is an introduction to the Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast of Cavalleria Rusticana by P. Mascagni’s and Pagliacci by R. Leoncavallo’s that will be featured at the Cinemark Theater in the Stroud Mall. The broadcast will be Saturday, April 25 at 12:30 PM, and Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 6:30 PM.
Galperin gave ten talks entitled, “Why Opera Still is Relevant Today,” just last year. He also gave a talk at ESU last year called, “Carmen: Spanish Dance Music and Human Drama.”
This year he is diving into the world of human emotion through opera in the two operas, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. “They’re short, dynamic pieces with few characters, so you don’t get lost or wait to long for the punch line,” said Galperin.
Both pieces are also fairly modern because they were both written near the end of the nineteenth century. The productions also display emotion at a very high level.
“They’re the granddaddies of all the tearjerker movies,” said Galperin, “They define the new style of opera called verismo, which means telling the truth. Show life as it is. Take your subject matter from everyday life, so it gets across to everyone.” Operas like these are great for people who are new to opera and want to immerse themselves in it.
Dr. Galperin’s Austrian thesis advisor introduced him to the opera and took him to an opera which sparked his interest. During the breaks and intermissions, his advisor talked about how the production had changed over the past ten years because he had seen it over 150 times.
“It’s highly addictive because it gives you so much, not only in the immediate emotional impact of the performance, but sparking the interest in the literary, historical, and cultural background,” said Galperin.
The Metropolitan Opera broadcasts productions in HD across the world, and the Cinemark in Stroud Mall is one of those places. The accessibility for operas has become easier than ever.
Galperin said, “One of the reasons why opera continues to be popular is because it provides probably the most intense emotional experience of all of the arts.”
Galperin tries to build parallels in historical, sociological, and philosophical aspects in operas of that their centuries to our world now.
“In my talks I don’t dwell on music, but music is a mirror of its world. I try to talk as much about the social and historical context of the operas that I introduce, rather than the music itself. I like to think that my presentations are enlightening to students, and that they open a lot of new doors,” he said.
He also said he is tailoring his talks a little different from his other events, which will bring a brand new perspective to the changes in opera. “Unlike my previous talks, it’ll almost be like a music festival talk. I’ll be playing excerpts from different eras trying to compare how human emotions were expressed at different times in history from the 1600s to now.”
Dr. Galperin hopes to bring as many students as possible to the event to help them dive into a world that may not be at the forefront of their minds.
Opera is a very unique experience, and for some people it can be addictive.
“The more you get into something the more you get out of it,” said Galperin.
Human emotion is universal, and opera is a way to experience that in a completely different world.
Come join Dr. Galperin and other opera aficionados, and you may just surprise yourself and get addicted to the realm of opera.
Email Amanda at: