The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance educates the artists, scholars, educators and entrepreneurs of the future. Students are prepared with expert skills, instilled with passionate enthusiasm, and emboldened to challenge and inspire the world through the power of the performing arts.
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Stephen West, bass-baritone and professor of music in the Department of Voice at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, presented a lecture/recital on January 22, 2017 as the culmination of his sabbatical research project titled "Giuseppe Verdi: The Master's 'not-so-well-known' Greatest Hits for the Bass Voice". The recital, interwoven with factual and anecdotal narrative, gave listeners the opportunity to learn of Verdi's life and the historical, political, and musical events of the time; to hear numerous unfamiliar works by the composer; and to participate personally by singing the great chorus, "Va Pensiero" from Nabucco, in sync with a broadcast from the Rome Opera under the baton of Mo. Riccardo Muti. West's research included visits to Italy and Verdi's hometown of Busseto, the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, and the Villa Verdi in St. Agata, where the maestro spent the majority of his adult life and his library and personal effects remain. Also funded were visits to New York City for preparation of the evening's concert and research through the American Institute for Verdi Studies, and research with the Verdi Opera Theatre of Michigan. The project was supported by a grant from the U-M Office of Research and matching funds from SMTD.
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