Opera Buffs: This Ain’t No Fluff

By Janice Tieperman
SC Staff Writer

Those of you who attended Professor Eugene Galperin’s recent lecture on the well-known opera “The Marriage of Figaro” may also have been aware that a live performance of it was streamed to a local cinema on October 18.

In Galperin’s words: “I came out of the theater thinking I couldn’t ever watch opera again after seeing this performance, since it was absolute perfection.”

Thankfully for all of you opera buffs, or even those just interested in other cultures, Galperin is taking the stage again on October 29 to discuss another one of his operatic favorites: Carmen.

In his lecture entitled “Carmen: Spanish Dance Music and Human Drama,” Galperin will reveal a different side of opera to the public eye.

Instead of the Italian roots that were evident within “The Marriage of Figaro,” the opera “Carmen” puts a much heavier focus on the history of the “Spanish/European peninsula,” as Galperin referred to it.

Because of this, the discussion will have a much heavier focus on “the attributes of French opera as opposed to Italian opera, why Spain was of interest to French opera composers, and just Spanish music in general,” he described.

Also, the professor will be showing clips of the opera and other music of the time, “to put further emphasis on why it is so good and popular.”

However, this evening will not be solely focused on the musicality that constructed “Carmen” as it exists today.

“A lot of the features we now call quintessentially Spanish were defined during the 800-year Muslim rule. This is what determined its musical culture,” Galperin stated.

This is especially interesting to think about in the scope of today’s current events, and the spotlight that is put on America’s relationship with the Islamic culture.

“Oftentimes we’re in more contact with the Islamic world than before, which makes it somewhat important to understand parts of Islamic narrative,” he explained further.

As he also pointed out, “There is a great social and political implication to foreign policy today by studying history.”

Even if you are unsure where you stand on the operatic front, there is much more than music to be discovered at this presentation.

Find out more by attending Galperin’s last lecture of the fall semester on October 29 at 7:00 PM in Niedbala Auditorium in the STC building..

The event is free, and all are welcome.

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