Opera Talks With Jeffrey Engel (NWL)

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Age Group: Adult
This event is part of a combined series. If you register for this event, you will be automatically registered for all of the following events in the series and will receive a reminder email before each event.
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THURSDAY - For the second in this series of Opera Talks, Jeffrey Engel will explore the life of Camille Saint-Saëns and his opera, Samson et Dalila. 

“He was short, and always strangely resembled a parrot: the same, sharply-curved profile; a beaklike hooked nose, lively, restless, piercing eyes….He strutted like a bird and talked rapidly, precipitately, with a curiously affected lisp.”

Pierre Lalo’s amusing description does not highlight the many talents of Saint-Saens as a composer, conductor, pianist, organist, writer and musicologist. That he was also a stupendous child prodigy that  should not be forgotten. Saint Saens wrote some of the most popular music in the orchestral repertory (“Danse Macabre” and “Carnival of the Animals” among them) and yet he has never become a beloved figure.

Jeffrey Engel will detail Saint-Saen’s long life and present a number of his most tuneful and enjoyable compositions.

Engel, a music professor at Northwestern Connecticut Community College who has played cello with the Paris Opera, will talk about each opera’s historical context, composer and story to give attendees a deeper understanding of the piece. The schedule coincides with the Metropolitan Opera’s global broadcast of the performances, including cinemas in Connecticut.

• Oct. 4 - Thursday - Giuseppe Verdi / Aida

• Oct. 18 - Thursday - Camille Saint-Saëns / Samson et Dalila

• Oct. 25 - Thursday - Giacomo Puccini / La Fanciulla del West

• Nov. 5 - Monday - Nico Muhly / Marnie

• Dec. 13 - Thursday - Giuseppe Verdi / La Traviata

The event is made possible by the Thomas F. Kilfoil Memorial Bequest.

Please park in the nearby Isham Garage and come directly to the Noah Webster Library Meeting Room, 20 South Main Street, West Hartford. Bypass the pay kiosk in the parking garage and come right to the library to validate your parking with your car's license plate number.