Ever heard that famous aria on the radio and would like to hear more? Or perhaps you have been watching performances for years and would like to meet others with a similar interest.
Whether you are an opera virgin or veteran, the u3a has much to offer, and this page should help anyone wishing to join or to start a u3a Opera group. For more information, email me.
Join a group
|Pierre Groisbois © Pierre Grosbois from Carmen DVD, Opera Comique, Paris||
There are at least 120 such groups across the UK, most of which are open to new members. Their activities vary and may include talks or visits to live or relay performances, but most involve watching (or occasionally listening to) an opera, perhaps with a short introduction or discussion afterwards.
Most meetings feature the classic repertoire, from Mozart to Puccini, with the occasional earlier or later work. A few groups also include operetta, Gilbert & Sullivan, ballet and musicals in their programme.
Although some members have musical training or are experienced opera-goers, most are not, and many are quite new to opera. No knowledge is required – just enthusiasm and curiosity.
Start a group
|Michele © Michele Monasta from Rinaldo DVD, Teatro del Maggio Musicale, Fiorentina.||
Already available are guides on member retention and recruitment post Covid, how to mirror screen to a TV, and on structuring Zoom meetings.
A regular newsletter goes to all opera group convenors with news, reviews, viweing suggestions and shared comments.
With best wishes, Colin Davison, u3a Opera Subject Adviser.
(I’m a retired newspaper editor and have reviewed opera as a pastime for many years, currently for the British Theatre Guide. I run the N Cotswold u3a opera group, which has 35 members.)
Online Operas A selection of the best opera productions that you can watch free online.