As an offshoot from the Peter Le Huray Panel at the 2016 RMA Annual Conference, John Deathridge discusses the question of negotiating expectations within opera with Katy Hamilton. Opera audiences, unlike other Western Art music audiences, still boo. Their expectations and reactions are unique, not experienced in music or theatre generally. Opera is a visceral experience, with religious-like reverence. This podcast discusses audience expectations of opera, and managing artist direction, and the dissonance between audiences and directors. Coupled with this are the expectations of singers, contemporary composers, critics, and opera houses themselves as public institutions of the state.
John Deathridge is Emeritus Professor of Music at King’s College London and a past president of the RMA. A lifelong enthusiast and writer and broadcaster about opera, he has published on Wagner in particular, including Wagner Beyond Good and Evil (University of California Press, 2008) and ‘Waiting for Wagner’ (in The Opera Quarterly, 2014). His new English translation of The Ring was published by Penguin Classics in 2018.