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Opera’s Neglected Dimension: the Visual

November 18 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Virginia Opera and the Norfolk Society of Arts are thrilled to invite you to a special lecture.


Opera is a ‘multi-media’ art form, but for most of the 20th century, the ‘multi’ was ignored!  Despite the scenic splendor of 17th and 18th century opera in Italy and France, from 1900 onward the auditory dimension of the art form took precedence over the visual. The popularity of 78-rpm records (RCA Victor in the vanguard), radio broadcasts, LPs, and then CDs, trained people to listen but not to look. It is only with the introduction of regular telecasts in the late 1970s, videos then DVDs and, today, HD transmissions to movie theaters, that the visual dimension of opera has reverted to its natural partnership with words and music.

The return of the visual to opera in the 1970s is concurrent with the establishment and early growth of OPERA America. In this presentation, OPERA America President/CEO, Marc A. Scorca, will explore the redevelopment of the visual dimension of opera in three dimensions:
·       Great visual artists who have created in the opera house.
·       The masterful theatrical designers who support the drama of opera.
·       The promising next generation of innovators who will expand the definition of the art form.

Picasso and Bakst (pre WWII), Eugene Berman (1950s and 1960s), Marc Chagall (especially post- WWII) ) then David Hockney, Maurice Sendak and others.

View the Lecture November 18 at 11 AM


November 18
11:00 am - 12:30 pm