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Professor West's Italian sabbatical research project on Verdi culminates in lecture/recital


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. 

Recording of the live concert 



Stephen West

Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower