Special UK audio book launch and discussion 'The Gala Concert, Verdi/Wagner 200 years'

Sunday 20 October, 5.15pm until 6.15pm, Hammerson Room Hot off the Press 2013

In 2013 the world is celebrating two of the greatest opera composers in history – Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, both born in 1813. Karl-Erik Norrman‘s new audio book celebrates both composers at the same time. Verdi and Wagner never met in life time, but here they meet, in Café Florian in Venice and walking through the beautiful city. They both have dramatic life stories to tell each other - from private life, from politics and from composition. They were both engaged in the political unity endeavours of their countries. Italy was united in 1861 and Germany in 1871. This unusual work is both a story about two great Europeans and a “double biography” in the form of a dialogue/duel between two composers who compare their roles in the history of opera.

The audio book The Gala Concert, Verdi/Wagner 200 years, a drama in 36 chapters, was written by Karl-Erik Norrman in 2009-10. He was also the producer of the recording in Stockholm in 2011 (voices of three actors and many musical excerpts from Verdi- and Wagner operas). The audio book (3 CDs , playtime 181 Minutes) was released in Stockholm by Tundell/Salmson, Stockholm, in spring 2013.

Peter Bingle
director, Terrapin Communications; one of Westminster's leading lobbyists

Cara Bleiman
teacher, Arnhem Wharf Primary School

Karl-Erik Norrman
founder and secretary-general, European Cultural Parliament; former Swedish ambassador; author, The Gala Concert, Verdi/Wagner 200 years

Pedro Quintino de Sousa
researcher on Portuguese and European literature, CLEPUL (Center For European and Lusophone Literatures and Cultures)

Produced by
Claire Fox director, Academy of Ideas; panellist, BBC Radio 4's Moral Maze; author, I Find That Offensive
Session partners