Opera or Musical?

Opera or Musical?

Operas have provided inspiration for some of Broadway’s most iconic productions, including the adaptation of La Bohème into Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Rent, and Madama Butterfly reimagined as the smash hit Miss Saigon. Even Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata has been the inspiration for the musicals Pretty Woman and Moulin Rouge. Similar in their use of vocal and instrumental music to convey plot and character development, both opera and musical theater have roots in the same enduring dramatic forms, but ultimately diverged into two distinct arts. In this lecture, Stuart Holt will examine the characteristics that define operas and musicals and explore the adaptation process of operas and their stories for a new audience as well as the role each plays in the opera house.


Free and open to the public

Presented in partnership with the Princeton Public Library

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Director of School Programs and Community Engagement, Metropolitan Opera Guild

Stuart Holt