David and the Opera

by Laura German

I am really enjoying my Florence University of the Arts course. I chose to take the Wanderlust class. When I read the title, I was not sure what kind of class this could possibly be. I read the course description and I was immediately intrigued! It’s the study of the physical and emotional art of walking. We study the history of “walking” through the years. Our current focus is on pilgrimages and their purpose.  Now I find myself looking at history in a whole new light.

My roommates are fantastic and even though we are on different schedules, we find the time to go out for dinner or even stay in and cook. We even had a shopping day this weekend!

Last Wednesday was a fantastic day! We had the opportunity to visit the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy. It is a very popular museum that houses some of the most widely known works from Michelangelo. His most popular sculpture that is on everyone’s must see list is David. David stands 17ft tall and is the centerpiece in the room of which he stands. Truly amazing!

On Thursday we attended the opera Rigoletto.  Did you know that Florence, Italy is the birthplace of opera? In the 1570’s a young composer, Jacopo Peri, moved to Florence to be able to study music. He and an Italian composer by the name of Jacopo Corsi teamed up and decided to put on a performance incorporating a Greek tragedy. The story they chose to tell was the love story of Apollo and Daphne. The music was written by the two men and with the help of a local Florentine poet, Ottavio Rinuccini, for the lyrics and the opera was born. The opera Dafne was first performed by a small group of local musicians in 1597. The Medici family was so fascinated by this new style of music that they commissioned Peri’s next opera. From there on opera has been a major part of the history and culture of Florence. Today in Florence, operas are put on in small venues in local churches. The atmosphere is quaint and not overly dressy. The cast is both local members of the community with singers from around the world, and the selection of operas change constantly. If you have time, I would highly recommend stopping in to see this fantastic experience for yourself.

This entire study abroad trip has been a once in a lifetime experience for me. Not only do I get to see all the arts that I have studied over the years in person, I can also say that I have attended college in another country. Priceless.



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