Verdi’s birthday is reason to celebrate at Rockwell Hall - The Buffalo News

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Verdi’s birthday is reason to celebrate at Rockwell Hall

So much Verdi, so little time! This year the world is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, but the Italian master wrote so much, and looms so large, that to a Verdi fan even a year can seem too short.

Buffalo Opera Unlimited, led by Tim Kennedy, is celebrating the autumn of the Verdi year with two performances this weekend of Verdi’s music. Arias do not begin to describe the production, which is called “Viva Verdi!” The program also includes duets, quartets, ballet and choral works, from operas such as “Aida,” “La Traviata,” “Nabucco,” “Luisa Miller,” “Il Trovatore,” “Otello,” “Rigoletto” and “Macbeth.”

Leading the cast of singers are sopranos Laura Noack and Holly Bewlay. Noack sang Marguerite in Buffalo Opera Unlimited’s production last year of Gounod’s “Faust,” and Bewlay is assistant professor of voice at SUNY Buffalo State. Other singers include mezzo soprano Allyn Vandusen; tenor Tamar Greene; baritone Mario Martinez; and bass Eric Johnson.

Also featured will be the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, led by its new director, Erin Freeman, and dancers from the Royal Dance Theatre, directed by Bernadine DeMike.

The event takes place at SUNY Buffalo State’s Rockwell Hall. There are two performances: 8 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $30, or $25 for students and seniors. Call 878-3005.

– Mary Kunz Goldman

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