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Lecture: The Castrati, Then and Now

Date:

01/16/2020


Lecture: The Castrati, Then and Now

The castrati singers were probably the most striking feature of Italian opera during the Baroque era, and to this day we still remember the names of singers like Farinelli or Senesino. The practice of mutilating boys for the sake of musical virtuosity, however, quickly disappeared with the end of the Ancien Régime. With the revival of Early Music in the middle of the 20th century, many attempts have been made to reinvent the angelic voice of the castrati. This lecture by Dr. Guillaume Bernardi (York University) will first evoke the unique world of the castrati and then examine how their voice has been recreated for the opera stage of today.

Guillaume Bernardi is a stage director, a dramaturge and a teacher based in Toronto. His directorial work covers a wide range of genres, from theatre and opera to movement pieces. Recent directorial projects include the staging of Handel’s Orlando for Stony Brook University, La Giuditta, a Baroque Oratorio, for the Frankfurt Oper and two different productions of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro for the Frankfurt Oper and the Canadian Opera Company. Bernardi has collaborated with several important artists such as René Jacobs and Stephen Stubbs, singers such as Andreas Scholl and Suzie LeBlanc, and early music groups such as the Yale Baroque Opera Project and Pacific Musicworks. In Toronto, he has worked with the Toronto Continuo Collective and I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble.

He regularly conducts workshops on the declamation and delivery of Italian Baroque librettos, in particular on the operas of Francesco Cavalli, as he has done now on a few occasions for the Toronto Consort and for the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, last summer.

Bernardi holds a doctorate from the Paris-Sorbonne University. He teaches in the Drama Studies Programme at Glendon College, the bilingual faculty of York University.

Presented by the Canadian Institute for Mediterranean Studies with the support of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.

University of Toronto | St. Michael’s College | Carr Hall - 100 St. Joseph St. | Room 404

Parking Lot: Opposite Carr Hall

All lectures are open to the public and free of charge.

Information

Date: Thursday, January 16, 2020

Time: From 7:15 pm To 8:15 pm

Organized by : Canadian Institute for Mediterranean Studies

In collaboration with : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : Free


Location:

University of Toronto | St. Michael’s College | Carr Hall - 100 St. Joseph St. | Room 404

Author:

Canadian Institute for Mediterranean Studies

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