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Distinguished Artists Series: Operatic Birthdays for Verdi, Wagner, Britten

The voice faculty of the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University will celebrate the birthdays of three legends of opera with a Distinguished Artists concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 5. This year marks the bicentennial of the births of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, and the centennial of the birth of Benjamin Britten.

The concert in Petree Recital Hall at N.W. 25th Street and Blackwelder Avenue will feature Bass School faculty vocalists Regina Grimaldi, soprano; Catherine McDaniel, mezzo-soprano; William Nield Christensen and Jeffrey Picon, tenors; and pianist/host Jan McDaniel. Tickets ($10) are available online at or by calling (405) 208-5227.

The evening program presents operatic excerpts and vocal rarities including seldom-performed French songs by Wagner. The central work, “A Birthday Hansel,” was commissioned from Britten by Queen Elizabeth II in honor of her mother’s 75th birthday. In recognition of the Queen Mother's Scottish ancestry, Britten chose seven poems by Robert Burns, sung in the Scots dialect and performed without a break.

For more information on upcoming events at the Bass School of Music, visit or