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Free 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.

Verdi's MacBeth

Carol Crocca

Brighton Memorial Library

2300 Elmwood Ave

Spring 2024

WEDNESDAY, Mar.  6 •  6-7:45 pm
Hiram Sibley Plaque.heic
Inside the Archives of Sibley Music Library

Jim Farrington and David Coppen
WEDNESDAY, Mar.  13 •  6-7:45 pm
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Forbidden Fruit :

Bringing Turandot Home to Beijing's Forbidden City
Cindy Battisti
WEDNESDAY, Mar.  20 •  6-7:45 pm
Constance Fee
"What's it going to take?"
The Journey to Become an Opera Singer

Constance Fee
WEDNESDAY, Mar.  27 •  6-7:45 pm
Verdi's MacBeth

Carol Crocca

Our 2024 Spring Lectures

Inside the Archives at Sibley Music Library

If you've never had a chance to visit the Sibley Music Library, we'll showcase highlights of the collection at this lecture by David Coppen and Jim Farrington on March 6. This community resource and local gem is the largest academic music library in the western hemisphere with over 400,000 items. 

You'll be amazed at the treasures it holds...Jim and David will share some wonderful examples.


Forbidden Fruit: Bringing Puccini’s Turandot Home to Beijing’s Forbidden City 


For years the government of China prohibited the performance of Puccini’s Turandot – an opera set in mythical ancient China. Conductor Zubin Mehta successfully worked to bring Turandot “home” to the Forbidden City.


On March 13, Opera Guild board member Cindy Battisti will present this lecture with video highlights on the mounting of this beloved grand opera on a massive outdoor stage at the Ancestral Temple built in 1406. The centerpiece of the plot: Any prince seeking to marry Princess Turandot must answer three riddles. If he fails, he will die. The ultra famous aria, Nessun Dorma draws fans to this opera time and time again.

"What's It Going to Take?"

This is a chance to hear from a career opera singer, our own Constance Fee, on the talent, luck and sheer mettle it takes to pursue a calling for the stage.

Connie's ancedotes abound, with real life examples of what can go right, and maybe not so right. 

This lecture was much enjoyed by our audience last year, and Connie has more stories to tell!

Verdi's Macbeth

Our last lecture event promises witches, ghosts, murder and madness – Verdi’s foray into the realm of folklore, given by Carol Crocca. In addition to many scenes from Verdi’s spooky and lyrical drama, his process and the transition from play to opera will be discussed.


Lecture/Listening Series

Brighton Memorial Library

2300 Elmwood Ave

Spring 2023

Board member Art Axelrod presents his Opera Duets lecture to an interested crowd.

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