3 February 2016
Drinking songs such as La traviata’s famous Brindisi are just the start of opera's songs describing action.
11 January 2016
A stunning musical depiction of Heaven and Hell closes Act I of Puccini's iconic Roman opera.
30 November 2015
Mascagni’s draws on church music in this masterful and intense evocation of a small community and one guilt-ridden woman’s position outside of it.
27 November 2015
In this short aria – famously the first million-selling record in history – Leoncavallo tracks his central character’s descent into despair.
17 February 2015
Building a ship on stage might be a stage designer’s nightmare, but life on or by the sea has made ideal material for some of opera’s greatest stories.
Stormy Weather #2: Smart techniques for bringing a storm to the stage from history's great composers
23 January 2015
Beethoven inspired a host of operatic composers including Rossini, Verdi and Weill in musical methods for creating an operatic storm.
19 January 2015
Giordano's music has a cinematic sweep in his depiction of the riotous trial where his hero is unjustly sentenced to death.
24 December 2014
Ballet choreographers have long loved to craft swirling floral patterns for the corps de ballet, set to a waltz's gentle lilt.
9 December 2014
Verdi’s music for the chorus ‘Ve’, se di notte’ shows how laughter can be used to heighten tragedy.
20 November 2014
Wagner is credited with changing the course of Western music in just four notes, but what turned a chord into a musical icon?