Saturday 17 Sep 2022
3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
“ Acting in opera! The term is a contradiction in itself” wrote one critic in the first half of the last century. This is probably a fair comment, given what the same writer described as “that grossly exaggerated form of gesture and expression” which many singers employed during that period. The talk will examine the possible reasons for this, and also consider reactions to the stage appearances of a few famous singers of the time. Visual evidence, of course, is generally lacking but a rare film of a performance in the early 1950s which will be screened will give us a clear idea. More recent times, however, have seen the stage decked with highly convincing, realistic performances and the discussion will consider the reasons for this and provide excerpts from Wagner productions which exhibit the finest of acting performances allied with fine quality singing.