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Lecture/Listening Series

For many years, Opera Guild of Rochester has delivered free lectures on a wide range of opera topics. We do these to provide historical background and musical context for operas and composers, and to present operas that the audience might otherwise not have access to or that might prove difficult to understand or appreciate.

To supplement, you may browse our library of lectures and opera performance essays.

Brighton Memorial Library

2300 Elmwood Ave

Spring 2023


Lecture/Listening Series

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8 •  6-7:45 pm
Constance Fee
The Development of an Opera Singer
Constance Fee

You won't want to miss this behind-the-scenes coaching lecture by Roberts Wesleyan Director of Voice and former grand opera performer, Constance Fee.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15 •  6-7:45 pm
The Tenor Voice in French Opera
Peter Dundas

Compare and contrast Kaufmann, Shicoff, Alfredo Kraus and other modern day tenors who are masters of the French opera repertoire including Carmen, Werther and other favorites.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 •  6-7:45 pm
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Magical Moments from the Ring!
Cindy Battisti

An Introduction to Wagner’s Four Opera Epic


A story-based look at the 16 hours of the Ring featuring some beautiful standout music. We’ll look briefly at leitmotifs too!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29 •  6-7:45 pm
Plums from Puccini: La fanciulla del west
Carol Crocca

Carol's latest lecture highlights one of Puccini’s masterpieces, La fanciulla del west, the story of rogue bandit Dick Johnson and Gold Rush bar owner Minnie.


Highlights from the March 30, 2022

Opera Duets lecture by board member Peter Dundas.


This lecture, developed by Art Axelrod and presented by Peter Dundas delved into the construction of duets in opera and how they are used to communicate turning points in the plot. Peter reviewed the five voice types (soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, and bass) and their various combinations in the opera duet repertoire.


Fifteen memorable video clips from Der RosenkavalierLucia di Lammermoor, Aida, La Traviata, Norma, Don Carlo and more were showcased as we enjoyed stellar performances from Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Renée Fleming, Ferrucio Furlinetto, Juan Diego Flórez, Jonas Kaufmann and Joyce DiDonato.

Board president Carol Crocca presented her signature "Bad Girls in Opera" lecture to a receptive audience in March 2022.

Board member Art Axelrod presents his Opera Duets lecture on October 6, 2021 to an interested crowd.

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