We are delighted that our opera lectures re-started on Thursday 1st October with our regular expert, Ross Alley.
The Autumn course features the ‘Opera Masterworks of Donizetti’ and take place on the following dates:
• 1st October – Anna Bolena
• 15 October – L’elisir d’amore
• 29 October – Maria Stuarda
• 10 December – Lucia di Lammermoor
• 17 December– La fille du régiment
After the death of Bellini in 1835, Gaetano Donizetti was the most significant composer of Italian opera until Verdi. During his lifetime, Donizetti achieved great success as an operatic composer in Italy, France and Austria, with a prodigious output. His operas encompassed both dramatic works, such as Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as the romantic comedies L’elisir d’amore, La fille du régiment and Don Pasquale. Donizetti perfected a fast-paced dramatic style in which tenors and sopranos exude passionate love and suffer fate’s consequences in embracing action-driven and emotionally textured stories. In addition, no Italian composer was as successful in the genre of romantic comic opera, in which contemporary audiences could easily relate to the humanity of his characters.
He was one of the few composers of his generation with a considerable literary sensibility and he selected his own subjects rather than have them imposed on him by theatre managements. Although his reputation fluctuated after his death, serious re-evaluation of his work got underway in the late 1940s and at least a dozen of his operas are regularly performed internationally today.
Ross Alley was, for many years, a music lecturer at Birkbeck College (University of London). He has also given numerous guest lectures for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Wigmore Hall, the Wagner Society, the Gustav Mahler Society, and NADFAS.