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Works by Italian composers performed May 1 by the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra

BOONE—Selections composed by Italian opera great Verdi will be performed May 1 by the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra. The program begins at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free.

Dr. Chung Park conducts the 52-piece orchestra, which opens the program with the overture to Verdi’s opera “Nabucco.” The composition was first performed in 1842 in Milan. Of it, Verdi said, “This is the opera with which my artistic career really begin.” The opera is about the Jews’ exile from Babylon by King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar.)

Verdi wrote 28 major operas before his death in 1901.

Trombonist Drew C. Leslie will be the guest soloist for “Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra,” a 1966 composition by Italian Nino Rota. The composition is considered an important work in the trombone repertoire. In addition to his orchestral work, Rota composed the film scores for “The Godfather II” and Fellini’s “8 ½.”

The orchestra will also perform the preludes to Act I and III from Verdi’s “La Traviata.” The opera was based on the play “The Lady of the Camelias” by Alexandre Dumas II. Rather than presenting the essence of the entire opera, Verdi’s preludes in this composition set the stage for each act. The prelude to Act I is a haunting strain that foreshadows the death of Violetta, one of the main characters, before transitioning to a more upbeat melody. The more somber melody from the Act I prelude is repeated in Act III.

The concert concludes with the overture to Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny).” The overture is comprised of melodies from the opera and stresses a three-note motif that is often called the “fate” motif, three E notes played in unison by the brass section, and a “destiny” motif that also foreshadows the tragic destiny of the opera’s principal characters.

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