For William Berger the hits just keep on coming. After his refreshingly original book on Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung (reviewed on WAT) was published two months ago, the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera commentator, lecturer, and author has now created an exciting, one-of-a-kind introduction to opera: “The Epic of Opera.” This interactive, star-singer-studded, Zoom-based webinar is here to tell the story of opera to connoisseurs as to newcomers. “Where does opera come from? Why did it become what it did? How does it work, and what does it offer us that nothing else does?”
This is not your typical lecture or seminar. It promises to be neither heavily academic nor overstuffed with chronologies like many “History of..” books. I have heard William Berger speak as part of the Metropolitan Opera Guild lecture series and can attest to how pleasantly informative, engaging, delightful, witty, and interesting his lectures are. So much so that, in the moment, you do not even realize that substantive learning is, in fact, taking place. And all in Berger’s distinctive style of delivery.
The seminar’s eight live sessions of one hour each kick off on June 7th at 4:00 p.m. NY time, and unfold over two weeks. Each session is comprised of three twenty-minute components: a multi-media presentation by Berger, a conversation with one or two opera stars, and the attendees’ interaction with the singers and the author. Featured star singers include Justino Díaz, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Christine Goerke, Joseph Calleja, Jamie Barton, Morris Robinson, Latonia Moore, Anthony Dean Griffey, and Susanna Phillips (discover more about the guest singers).
As for the cherry on the cake, or rather in the cocktail, the sessions will recommend some very special cocktails by guest mixologists who are themselves well-known musicians and artists. We would need to do some shopping beforehand—for the ingredients check out the featured cocktails listed with their mixologists—but many liquor stores consider themselves essential and have remained open.
So if you want to get to know opera in an original, fun, and interactive way, don’t miss this exclusive opportunity. Join me and the many others who are signing up every day. Let’s enjoy the story of opera together, and raise a glass to the music, the artists, and the author/commentator bringing us together to experience “The Epic of Opera.” For webinar details and registration, please visit William Berger Presents.
Top photo: William Berger speaking in List Hall at the Metropolitan Opera.