An Invitation to the Opera with Ross Alley, supporting Wac Arts


Friday afternoons 2.00-3.30pm, starting 15 April.

In this five week series Ross, musician and born communicator, will explore how music conveys emotion. He will discuss operatic structures including the aria, duets, ensembles and choruses – all with stunning musical examples.

Tickets are £20 for each lecture or £85 for the series – to be paid at the door.

Monies raised will support music training at Wac Arts for gifted young people who face exceptional challenges and hardship. Wac Arts is a centre of excellence for the performing arts and media and works with over 1000 young people aged 5-26 each year.

The series starts on 15th April in Room 22 at Wac Arts, Hampstead Old Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill NW3 4QP. Tube: Belsize Park. Buses: C11 46 168 268.

Our cafe is open for lunch and snacks.

For information and to book tickets contact

Opera unites words, music, and staging into one glorious, incomparable soufflé whose recipe for success depends not only on the quality of its ingredients but on the skill of its preparation. What is the secret of its aroma? Why is opera revered as one of the highest art forms ever conceived and achieved by mankind? One answer lies in its tremendous power to move us emotionally; words inspire music which, in turn, enhances the meaning of the words: a fabulous cross-fertilization which touches us more deeply than we can explain.

In this five-week series beginning Friday 15 April, Ross Alley will present a fascinating exploration of how music conveys emotion followed by an investigation into the standard operatic structures to enhance your opera enjoyment.

15 April: “Opera as expression – the language of music”. Taking 20 adjectives, the secrets of musical expression will be revealed in opera.

22 April: “The Aria” – a  quintessentially melodic outpouring in which a character dreams of love or triumph, unburdens anxiety, or mourns grief.
29 April: “The Duet” – not only as a bond of love or friendship, but also of outrage or vengeance.

6 May: “The Ensemble” – Opera’s trump card is the ensemble, an extraordinary musical device not possible in spoken drama, in which the characters can express conflicting emotions yet be united by the music.
13 May: “The Chorus” – In the final part of operatic structures, we revel in the magnificence of the operatic chorus, be it rousing and war-like, downtrodden and vilified, indignant and wrathful, or joyous and jubilant.