ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State
University’s Beulah Williams
Library will present a special exhibit Feb. 11-March 1 titled “Exploring Verdi & Wagner.”
The exhibit, in the library rotunda, is being presented in coordination with the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony’s Feb. 24 concert, “Celebrating Verdi and Wagner.”
The concert, sponsored by Dacotah Bank, will celebrate the 200th anniversaries of the births of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Both composers, the most important and influential opera composers of the 19th century, were born in 1813 and their music is being studied and performed throughout the world this year.
Lecture, discussion Feb. 11
The exhibit will open at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, with a lecture and discussion about the 19th century political and social context in which Verdi and Wagner created their operas. The lecture will be presented by NSU’s Dr. Ginny Lewis, associate professor of German and chair of the languages, literature and communication studies department; and Dr. Steven Usitalo, associate professor of history. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The library will serve refreshments after the opening night lecture-discussion.
Costumes and props
The exhibit will contain costumes and props on loan to NSU from Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Minnesota Opera and the Fargo-Moorhead Opera. The exhibit has been assembled by Shari Theroux, research librarian for the Beulah Williams Library, and Robert Vodnoy, conductor of the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony.
“The centerpiece item for the NSU display will be the head of John the Baptist from the Minnesota Opera’s 2009 production of Richard Strauss’s ‘Salome,’ which is one of the opera’s most valuable props from that production,” Theroux said.
“Opera lovers will recall that the head of John the Baptist is delivered to Salome after she has performed the ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’ for King Herod. It is one of their most unique and valuable props, and was modeled on the singer's face. It is very detailed and realistic, and is certain to be an attention-getter.”
Photo: Shown in Beulah Williams Library with costumes from the exhibit are, from left: Dr. Steven Usitalo, Dr. Ginny Lewis and Dr. Robert Vodnoy.