Opera League News & Articles

Get Puccini-wise with PUCCINI100

Explore the world of the "greatest exponent of operatic realism."

By Gary W. Murphy

With 2024 marking the 100th anniversary of Giacomo Puccini’s death, events are taking place worldwide to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of one of the greatest composers of Italian opera.

Now that LA Opera has closed out the 2023-24 season with Puccini’s final, unfinished masterpiece, Turandot, while preparing to open the 2024-25 season with another timeless gem, Madama Butterfly, the Opera League launches PUCCINI100.

A four-part seminar series designed and developed exclusively for Opera League members, PUCCINI100 will lead Leaguers in an exploration of the world of the composer hailed as the "greatest exponent of operatic realism."

Our guide will be Dr. Kristi Brown-Montesano, respected opera scholar, musicologist and educator who has spoken and published extensively about opera. After twenty years on the faculty of the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she also chaired the Music History department, she recently joined the Musicology faculty at UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music.

Puccini’s compositions, from late 19th century through the first quarter of the twentieth century, remain among the most central to opera house repertoires. Dr. Brown-Montesano will investigate the maestro’s life, his era and the timeless melodies that continue to resonate with modern audiences. The composer’s legacy, the vibrant tapestry of 19th century Italy and the grandeur of its opera houses that served as the backdrop of these timeless creations will be stops along the way.

“I would love for Opera League members to enjoy a richer understanding of Puccini as an Italian opera ‘creative’ as well as a human being operating during the turn of the 19th century and period of the First World War,” says Dr. Brown-Montesano. “I think we will all have a lot of fun exploring Puccini and his operas as I try to make all my lectures fundamentally entertaining.

“Of course, as a musicologist, I also put serious scholarly research into every presentation, but my job as a teacher is to use that research and critical analysis in service of a pleasurable educational experience. In this case, I have the joy of being able to share these conversations with Opera League members, devoted fans of the genre.”

Launching on May 11, all four PUCCINI100 seminars take place in private homes located around greater Los Angeles.

PUCCINI100 is open to Opera League members and one guest. As these seminars are hosted in private residences, seating is very limited. Tickets for parts three and four are on sale now. Click each one below to book your spot.

Author: Thomas Lady

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