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.  

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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.

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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!

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Glossary of Opera Terms

A designated part of the music usually found towards the end of an aria where the singer can let rip!
A set of two or more notes heard together
The person who creates the dance moves within a production
A large group of singers who sing together, mostly portraying unnamed characters
Elaborate singing involving vocal runs, trills and leaps
The person who writes the vocal and/or orchestral music. The composer also provides the vision behind an opera
Concert Master:
The leader of the orchestra. Always a violinist who sits by the conductor
The person who leads the live performance from the front of the stage with the orchestra
The lowest female voice
The highest male voice. Achieved in most cases through the use of falsetto