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‘Signore ascolta!’ – the tragedy of silence, Puccini, Orientalism and miscommunication

Venue: Caversham Room at Cadogan Hall


  • with Becca Marriot (soprano)

In this lecture Becca Marriott explores the concepts of Exoticism and Orientalism in verismo opera and how Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Turandot uphold and defy our ideas of the exotic East. She looks at how these operas sit within Puccini’s oeuvre, perhaps epitomizing one of Puccini’s favourite subjects, miscommunication. With discussion not only of composition, historical and social context, but also of her own performance experiences, this promises to be a highly informative and entertaining morning.

Opera Prelude works with some of the country’s finest young singers at the start of their careers, hosting lecture recitals, concerts, operas and masterclasses. Every ticket sold, subscription or donation made directly supports Opera Prelude’s chosen singers. Thanks to the generosity of our friends and supporters we have inaugurated The Opera Prelude Song Prize and in 2015 we will be launching our Singer’s Friends Fund helping our young singers with small grants. We simply couldn’t do any of this without the help of our friends and supporters who are a vital part of our story. If you would like to champion our work, every penny counts and every donation is appreciated more than it is possible to say.

Part of Opera Prelude 2015 Lecture Season

‘One of Opera’s Golden Ages – Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti’

The history of Italian opera is often considered as a continuously developing artistic tradition lasting some 300 years, with the first half of the 19th century considered to be one of the 'Golden...

Della Jones Masterclass

A masterclass led by the renowned mezzo-soprano Della Jones with Opera Prelude’s young singers Paola Cuffolo, Phoebe Haines and Callie Swarbrick. Opera Prelude works with some of the country's...

‘Running the risk of Rossini – a young singer’s experience of becoming a Rossini mezzo’

Paola has been passionate about Rossini from a very young age, so you can imagine her excitement when she first discovered it was something she might be able to sing. From trying to tackle _Una voce...

‘Il trovatore. Wanted: the four greatest singers in the world!’

This lecture discusses one of Verdi's most famous operas, Il trovatore. Usually dismissed because of its silly, intricate and over-the-top plot, Il trovatore is one of Verdi's musically more inspired...

‘The Battle of the Bohèmes’

This morning's lecture examines Puccini's masterpiece and Leoncavallo's version published only a year apart. Puccini's well-loved work has found long-lasting fame and is part of the staple repertoire...

‘Staging Opera in the Modern Age: the dilemmas faced by conductors, directors and performers’

When producing operas decades, often centuries after they were written, there are a seemingly endless number of conceptual, musical and directorial decisions that the creative team and cast need to...

Dame Felicity Lott Masterclass

An invitation to an open rehearsal of Mercadante’s Don Chisciotte

In preparation for our high profile event on 30 April at Leighton House, we invite you to join us behind-the-scenes! Observe a portion of a working rehearsal, with Opera Holloway’s conductor Lewis...

‘The Romance of Romeo’

Romeo and Juliet has inspired some of the greatest composers, opera producers and ballet directors throughout centuries. Tyler considers the differing roles of Romeo in some of the most well-known...

‘Mozart’s Men – Step into the lives and relationships of his greatest male protagonists!’

Alex focuses on the male relationships in Mozart’s Da Ponte operas, with an exploration of some of our favourite characters and the ones we love to hate.

‘Playing the other’

Ferrier semi-finalist, Anna Harvey has played many roles in her burgeoning and varied career including a man, boy, dog, bodily substance and a psychedelic messenger (!) In today’s talk she will...

‘Conducting La Traviata’

Mark Austin discusses La traviata and considers its music and drama from a conductor's point of view. He will survey some of the questions the conductor must ask when performing the opera.

‘From Don Magnifico to The Major General: the pitter patter of patter songs’

In this light hearted, fast tempo lecture, Alex will explore the history and origins of the Patter songs, in opera and beyond; a journey from 480BC to the present day. He will take us from the...

Concert Duration:
approx. 2 hours (with short interval)
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Ticket Information *

£25, payable in advance (including suggested non-obligatory £5 donation). To book please call Fiona Hamilton on 07908 894333 or 01491 578370.

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