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.

We look forward to the return of our lectures this spring, so watch this page for dates and details to be announced soon. To supplement, you may browse our library of lectures and opera performance essays.

Spring 2022 Lectures to be announced soon!

Board member Peter Dundas presents a Don Giovanni lecture written by Agneta Borgstedt at Fairport Library on September 22. 

Fairport Library

Fairport Village Landing


Lecture/Listening Series

WEDNESDAY, SEPT.22, 2021 •  7–9pm
Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 3.21.57 PM.png
Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Peter Dundas

Murder. Seduction. Jealousy. Revenge. Hear Peter describe this dramatic masterpiece by Mozart that's a favorite in the opera repertoire.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 6 •  7–9pm
Traviata duet.jpg
Opera Duets
Art Axelrod

Often, duets mark decisive moments in the drama.  In this presentation, Art will explore some notable duets within the opera canon and share how they are constructed, musically and dramatically.

Highlights from our lecture

on 10/6 presented by board member Art Axelrod.


This lecture delved into the construction of duets in opera and how they are used to communicate turning points in the plot. Art 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.

MetOpera Norma

Featured Duet: Joyce DiDonato and Sondra Radvonovsky perform in a 2017 performance of Norma.

Photo: MetOpera.

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