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Fame, Fortune, Mischief and Mayhem – The Origins of Opera in 18th-Century London

18 May @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

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In this talk, Opera Prelude Young Artist Ed Ballard (baritone) explores the early history of opera in London.  How did this continental invention first arrive?  Who were the singers who performed it, where and for whom?  Who was composing for them?  And how were these performances so different to the way we understand a night at the opera today?

Looking at this period helps us understand how London came to be such an important city, both in the performance of opera and in the development of those who produced and performed it.  With live demonstrations, illustrations and a trip into the world of rakes, fops, harlots, coffee houses and gin palaces, this talk should illuminate much about both an art form and a city that we love.

Born in London, Ed studied at Cambridge University before training at the Royal Academy of Music and with the Royal Academy Opera.  Winner of the Marjorie Thomas Art Song Prize and the Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize, he was a Maidment Scholar, a Sybil Tutton Award holder and an International Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipient.

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