There was really bad blood between Napoleon and the famous composer Luigi Cherubini. The emperor, who promoted Italian opera music as the soundtrack of his military campaigns in Italy, judged the music of Cherubini (who had long since moved to Paris) not sufficiently “Italian”. Clearly, Cherubini could not respond in kind, but a careful reading of his patriotic work Les Abencérages reveals a denunciation disguised as praise. For a proud and astute composer like Cherubini, imperial censorship becomes an opportunity to codify indirect criticism in an apparently flattering work. For this lecture, we will be sharing the anecdotes and historical context around this fascinating opera, with several listens to be able to immerse ourselves in the music of an important precursor of grand opéra. Conference with speaker Brad Carlton Sisk of Ca’ Foscari University, followed by a tasting of La Laguna nel bicchiere wines.