Introduction to Opera

If you're an opera newbie, this is the place for you.  Click on the links below to discover everything you wanted to know about opera but were too afraid to ask!

What is opera?


The Oxford English dictionary tells us that opera is, ‘A dramatic work in one or more acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists.’  Simply put, opera – the Italian word for ‘work’ - is a story told through words and music.  

Download the PDF

Getting started

Want to try opera but not quite sure where to start?  We've got you covered! Our handy guide offers a few suggestions to get your opera journey kick-started.

Download the PDF
0079 Butterfly 2015

What to expect

seats in a concert hall by mipapo

Our guide to going to the opera contains all you need to know - whether it's what to wear or when to clap!

Download the PDF

Glossary of Opera Terms

The middle male singing voice; higher than a bass but lower than a tenor
The lowest male singing voice. Most bass roles are associated with characters of authority or comedy
The stick held by the conductor which is used to lead the orchestra
Bel canto:
Literally, "beautiful singing". More specifically, a type of Italian singing style originating during the first half of the 19th Century
"Well done" in Italian
A style of exaggerated comedic opera