This year’s must see exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics opens this Saturday at the new Sainsbury wing of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London’s South Kensington.
There are several reasons to go. Firstly to see the new Sainsbury wing which is architecturally stunning, but also for opera lovers and those who want to learn about and hear opera, displayed with the use of ground breaking technology. The aim of the exhibition, organized in collaboration with London’s Royal Opera House as well as other opera houses around the world, is to bring opera to as many people as possible. The exhibition reveals how opera brings together multiple art forms to create a multi-sensory work of art, and shows how social, political and economic factors interact with great moments in the history of opera.
The route takes the visitor through seven journeys Venice, London, Vienna, Milan, Paris, Dresden, Leningrad, ending with World Passion where enormous wall to ceiling screens show excerpts from various operas. With headphones that were given to me when I went in, I was able to listen to different operas depending on what part of the world I was in. Among the 300 items on display are costumes worn at operas, paintings, and musical instruments including a piano played by Mozart in 1787; a stage set; and a video installation demonstrating how different directors interpreted Wagner’s ballet sequence in Tannhãuser.
A wide range of events have been organized in connection with the exhibition including lunchtime concerts on some Thursdays and an Opera Weekender from Friday, 10 to 12 November.
Runs until 25 February 2018.
Admission £19.00. Concessions available. www.vam.ac.uk/opera
Tel. 0800 912 6961