21 May 2024 / Events

Being an Opera Diva in 18th-century London (JOIN ONLINE)

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Opera divas have a bad name. They are thought of as being temperamental and difficult to please and are the subject of stories that are told (and retold) with relish and exaggeration. But what did it take to be a diva in 18th-century London? What was it like singing opera to an 18th-century audience? How did their interactions with the public play out? The lecture will venture into the highways and byways of the London music scene in search of answers to these often-posed questions.


The Speaker

Michael Burden is Professor of Opera Studies at the University of Oxford, is a scholar of English theatre music and dance, and the author of a (short) biography of the opera star Regina Minogtti.

He teaches music history across the course from Medieval to 21st century. His special subjects include most opera topics, music historiography, and music analysis. He is also director of New Chamber Opera, which during the term stages performances involving undergraduates.

His publications include Staging History, focused on theatres in London and New York 1170-1860, developed from an Oxford-Princeton Collaborative Research Grant and its the related podcast series.

BOOKINGS: STR lectures are free and open to the public. You don’t have to be a member, but it is essential to book to let us know if you wish to watch via the zoom livestream. Links to the livestream will be emailed to those who have booked and also added to the event before it starts.

Zoom link:



21 May 2024



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