Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

What is Opera?

November 18, 2023 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm


featuring Tim Carter

In 1685, the English poet John Dryden called opera “an exotic and irrational entertainment.” Most would still agree given the patent absurdity of sung drama, plus all the shenanigans of star singers and interventionist stage directors. But what were the origins of the genre, how does it work, and why does it still exert such fascination? Digging deep into three Italian case studies will help answer these questions and more to reveal that the “irrational” can turn out to be something quite remarkable.



Verdi’s La traviata (Venice, 1853): Operatic Structures and Dramatic Consequences

Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Mantua, 1607): Exploring the Power of Music

Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Vienna, 1786): Comic Farce Meets Musical Wit


Tim Carter is David G. Frey Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus at Carolina and the author of books on Monteverdi, Mozart, and American musical theater. His book, Understanding Italian Opera was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.



9:30 am-3:00 pm, Saturday, November 18th. The tuition is $125 to attend in person or $50 for virtual viewing. The optional lunch on Saturday is $20.

** In-person registration for this event closes on November 17 at 3pm.

Please contact us by Wednesday, November 15 at 3pm if you plan to order the optional meal. **

Register online or call us at 919.962.1544. 



UNC Students can attend for free, but pre-registration is required. Discounts are available for multiple-seminar or first-time purchases, members of Carolina Alumni, UNC faculty, & staff. For more information about discounts and registration policies, visit our General Information page, here

Teachers may attend one in-person Weekend Seminar for free tuition (optional meals not included), and any additional in-person seminars for a 50% tuition discount. To apply for free in-person tuition, email Current K-12 teachers interested in receiving a complimentary virtual viewing registration for this seminar can apply here. Teachers receive .6 CEUs post-attendance.


November 18, 2023
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category: