Why Giuseppe and Gang Would Be BLM Activists

Online Seminar taught via Zoom
8 sessions over 4 weeks
Tuesday and Thursdays at 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM PT
Runs from Oct 6-29

About the Seminar

Giusseppe Verdi This fall, LBO will debut a virtual seminar taught by LBO’s Director of Engagement and Equity Dr. Derrell Acon, entitled “Viva VERDI: Why Giuseppe and Gang Would Be BLM Activists”. Dr. Acon, a doctor and Fulbright scholar of 19th Century Opera History and Performance, as well as a renowned speaker on topics related to activism in the arts, will teach an 8-course seminar on how opera composers like Giuseppe Verdi used their art as a means of social advocacy and rebellion. The course will compare the artist activists in previous generations who have been catalysts for social change with the activists working to bring about social justice today, calling for a return to opera's former power to engage the most pressing issues of the times. The seminar includes historical context, musical examples, and will be interactively taught on Zoom Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30PM PT for four weeks beginning on October 6th. The suggested tuition is $250 per participant. Attendance will be capped and spots are limited. 

Learn more about the history of the slogan Viva Verdi here.

Dr. Derrell Acon

Dr. Derrell AconDr. Derrell Acon is a uniquely accomplished bass-baritone and an international scholar on topics ranging from 19th Century Italian Opera to American Blacktivism. He has made his debut in the roles of Jake and Jim in Porgy and Bess at Semperoper Dresden, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsches Theater München, Kölner Philharmonie, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Haifa Congress Center, Tel-Aviv Charles Bronfman Hall, and Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari. In 2018, he debuted as Escamillo in Opera Ithaca's Carmen, as Rocco in Heartbeat Opera's Fidelio, as Zuniga in Pacific Opera Project’s Carmen, and as the bass soloist in LA Master Chorale’s Messiah Sing-Along. 

Dr. Acon is a 2013-2014 Fulbright scholar to Italy, where he researched the operas of Giuseppe Verdi and lectured on the Black American Experience, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grantee for his work in Verdian scholarship and performance, and a frequent presenter throughout the U.S. at such venues as conferences for the National Association for Ethnic Studies, National Association of Negro Musicians, and National Men of Color Summit and internationally at venues in Europe and Africa. Dr. Acon has also been seen as an opera lecturer at The Chautauqua Institution, Portland Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and Des Moines Metro Opera. He is the co-creator of 'Creative in Me', in which he also portrays the character Reginald. 

If you are interested in registering, but have challenges with the tuition cost, please e-mail us and we'll work with you.

Register now

Yellow fields are required to proceess your registration

Contact Information

Payment Information

Total  $

National Endowement for the Arts    California Arts Council Arts Council for Long Beach City of Long Beach Art Works Opera America KUSC

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at
Supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach.
Long Beach Opera events are supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission