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 OPERA TALK is a series of free presentations on Opera with music educator Lou Barrella offered on Saturdays and Sundays in the Spring and Fall at Fairleigh Dickinson University and community libraries. See below.

Opera at Florham offers 3 classes on the "Joy of Opera" with Lou Barrella  as part of the Florham Institute for Lifelong Learning (FILL) adult ed program each Spring and Fall semester . 

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Celebrating St. Joseph's Day in Opera, Film Photo & Song
Sunday, March 19, 2023
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Rm S11, Science Building, FDU
Madison NJ

Join us as we celebrate “La Festa di San Giuseppe”  in Sicily in sacred and secular ways with elaborate St. Joseph’s tables and food, music from the sublime to the ridiculous sung in the authentic Sicilian language, and pictures and video that capture the scenic beauty of the land and endearing spirit of the people. Sample zeppoles, a dessert known among Italians for the feast of St. Joseph, while you listen to Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” sung by Sicilian tenors, Di Stefano, Alagna and Giordani. 

This presentation is free but please register so we know how much Italian pastry to make. 

Celebrating the Humanity of Royalty in Opera
Saturday, April 29, 2023
11:30am - 1:00pm
Hartman Lounge, The Mansion, FDU
Madison NJ

As a tie-in to Opera at Florham's April 2 concert, The Royalty in Opera, we will explore operatic characters who happen to be of royal lineage and see them as humans who experience the same emotions that we all do, although in Opera, this involves singing in a most magnificent manner!


This presentation is free and walk ins are welcome but registration is advised.

Verdi's Fathers and Daughters
Saturday, June 10, 2023 
11:30am - 1:00pm
Hartman Lounge, The Mansion, FDU
Madison NJ

Among the unique relationships in 19th Century Romantic Opera are the fathers and daughters portrayed in Giuseppe Verdi’s Operas. While his Operas typically expose the passionate entanglements of lovers and the vengeful actions of adversaries, his intense focus on father-daughter relationships is unusual. It is conjectured that this theme might be based on personal experience. These relationships always lead to wonderfully affective music expressed in complex and melodious soprano-baritone duets. 

This presentation is free and walk ins are welcome, but registration is advised.

Barrella Bio

Lou Barrella
Opera Educator

Lou Barrella has been a dedicated Music Educator for over 50 years, specializing in Music and Opera Appreciation in schools and cultural organizations. He has given workshops and organized student trips for the Metropolitan Opera Education Department for 40 years. He has been a Guest Lecturer at Colleges, Museums and Cultural Institutions throughout the Metropolitan area, making over 750 presentations since 1993.


He is a Board Member of the Enrico Caruso Museum, a regular presenter at the Mario Lanza luncheons, a co-host at the Columbus Citizens’ Foundation Opera Nights; organizes opera luncheons and dinners at Casa Belvedere in Staten Island, conducts an opera class at the Garibaldi Meucci Museum in Staten Island and lectures with Opera at Florham's outreach program.

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