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In this lecture, Jonathan R. Hiller will explain opera's crucial role in Italian society, from the time of the country's move to unification in the mid-19th century to the First World War. Showing examples from many famous works (such as Rigoletto, La Bohème, and Cavalleria Rusticana) and some lesser-known works (such as Cristoforo Colombo and I Medici), this presentation will show the intimate links between Italy's eventful history and these seminal works of melodrama. Lecture in English. Light reception will precede the lecture at 6:30pm. Lecture will begin promptly at 7:00pm. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $20 – Non-Members $25