30th January 2018

The Gilded Stage  -  A Social history of Opera

Daniel Snowman

Daniel Snowman invites us to look at opera from the perspective of the ‘demand’ as well as the ‘supply’, the consumption as well as the production: the opera houses, impresarios, monarchs, money makers, artists and audiences as well as the great works and the people who created them.  This magnificent Grand Tour of the mind includes stopovers in Renaissance Italy, Louis XIV’s Versailles, Handel’s London, Mozart’s Vienna, Verdi’s Italy and Wagner’s Germany and Gilded Age America.  In the 20th century, opera survived two world wars to become a truly global art form. Yet, with the core repertoire seeming to slip into an ever-receding past and the world struggling with economic recession, the question must be addressed: does opera have a future?  And what exactly do we mean by 'opera' anyway?

Daniel Snowman is a social and cultural historian.  Born in London, he was educated at Cambridge and Cornell, was a Lecturer at the University of Sussex and went on to work at the BBC where he produced a wide variety of radio projects on cultural and historical topics.  Now a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, his recent books include a study of the cultural impact of the ‘Hitler Emigrés’ and The Gilded Stage: A Social History of Opera.  Daniel's involvement with the current V&A exhibition on the history of opera has included a contribution to the catalogue and presentation of the accompanying lecture course.

The Society meets at the Hull Royal Hotel, 170 Ferensway, Hull HU1 3UF

All lectures are presented in the Royal Suite and start at 7.30pm prompt.


Doors are normally open at 6.45pm but access may be delayed if lecture preparations are not complete.


The audience are requested to please be in their seats before 7.25pm

The Hull Literary & Philosophical Society is registered as a Charity No 507226