Exhibition: Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

This exhibition runs from Sat, 30th Sep 2017 to Sun, 25th Feb 2018. See all dates

This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:

Cost: £19


A large scale exhibition of over 300 objects, and music to celebrate nearly 400 years of opera, exploring its passion, power and politics.

The only exhibition ever to explore opera on a grand scale, it immerses visitors in some key moments of the history of European opera from its roots in Renaissance Italy to its present-day form, by focusing on seven operatic premieres in seven cities.

It reveals how opera brings together multiple art forms, and shows how social, political, artistic and economic factors interact with great moments in the history of opera to tell a story of Europe over hundreds of years.

More than 300 objects, including important international loans, will be shown alongside footage compelling opera performances.

Objects on display include Salvador Dali’s costume design for Peter Brook’s 1949 production of Salome; Music in the Tuileries Gardens by Edouard Manet, a masterpiece of modernist painting contextualising Wagner’s modern approach to music in 1860s Paris; the original score of Verdi’s Nabucco from the Archivio Storico Ricordi in Milan.

Original material from the 1934 St Petersburg premiere of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk will be reunited and displayed outside Russia for the first time: these include the composer’s original autograph score, along with stage directions, libretto, set models and costume designs.

Opera performances can be played via headphones, changing as you explore the cities and objects. The exhibition will include a new recording of the Royal Opera Chorus singing ‘Va pensiero’ (the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco, experienced in a 360-degree sound installation.

Footage from 20th- and 21st-century premieres creates a finale showing how opera has moved from Europe across the world and continues to take on new forms. The operas include Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach, Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht and George Benjamin’s Written on Skin.


Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


Location

Victoria and Albert Museum,

Cromwell Road, London,
SW7 2RL

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