In this episode I’m with Professor Alexandra Wilson from Oxford Brookes University. We’re talking about her new book Opera in the Jazz Age, exploring opera’s “elitism” label and how opera’s depicted in film.
Alexandra Wilson is Professor of Music and Cultural History at Oxford Brookes University and the current recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. She is the author of three books: The Puccini Problem: Opera, Nationalism, and Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Opera: A Beginner’s Guide (Oneworld, 2010), and Opera in the Jazz Age: Cultural Politics in 1920s Britain (Oxford University Press, 2019).
Professor Wilson has a high profile as a public musicologist. She has presented numerous broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 (including Opera on 3, Building a Library and Proms concerts), and was recently called ‘a real ambassador for opera’ on Radio 4’s PM programme. She regularly writes programme essays, gives talks, and/or contributes to podcasts for opera companies including the Royal Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, ENO, Wexford Festival Opera and English Touring Opera. She has written for Opera magazine and BBC Music Magazine.
Some of the operas we discussed on today’s podcast are:
Pietro Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana
Ruggero Leoncavallo, I Pagliacci
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Don Giovanni
Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde
Giacomo Puccini, Tosca
…and Mozart’s Magic Flute making a surprise appearance in Durex’s Play Gel advert.
The theme tune is ‘Dusty Rag’ by May Aufderheide. Performed by Joanna Goldstein for Centaur. This podcast is licensed by PRS for Music (www.prsformusic.com).