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Italian Opera with a Twist

Ensemble Belliniano Plays at SMCM March 10
February 18, 2010
Press Release #10-030


Known for offering listeners new sound sensations by playing classical music transcribed by modern composers, the Ensemble Belliniano will present classical pieces from Italian composers of opera at a concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at the Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary's Hall at St. Mary's College of Maryland. The concert, part of the college's Guest Artist & Faculty Recital Series, is free and open to the public.

The Ensemble, chamber group of the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, includes musicians Angelo Valastro on bassoon, and Maria Grazia Scarlata and Corrado Ratto performing piano duos, and will play works from Italian composers Rossini, Verdi, Martucci, and of course Bellini. The use of two pianos or piano four-hand is intended to present songs in the classical tradition with a new sound.

According to a critic in the British Sunday Times: "The Ensemble Belliniano has a clear, bright tone with a wide palette of colors. The performance of all the players, without exception, is perfectly pitched both when called upon to give solo contributions and when playing with the other instruments."

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities, and an SAT average for student admissions of 1848. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.

Category: Music