Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are your educational opera-tunities for the month:

Prepare yourself for greater enjoyment of the upcoming Opera San Jose performances of Verdi’s La Traviata by attending one of Bradford Wade’s free 90-minute preview talks.
Mon Apr 2 from 7:30 – 9pm Law Offices of Sheppard Mullin, 379 Lytton Ave., Palo Alto
Mon Apr 9 from 7 – 8:30pm, Italian American Heritage Foundation, 425 North Fourth St., SJ
If you would like to have dinner with the speaker before the Palo Alto talk, please RSVP with Jim Stauffer at (No reservation is needed for the lectures.) For more information, please email

La Traviata (Verdi) Preview – A one-hour presentation by General Director Larry Hancock including lecture and performances by OSJ artists. Tues Apr 3 at 12noon California Theatre 345 S. First St., SJ

Wagner’s Ring Cycle: An Introduction and Overview – AAU and SFCM faculty member David Möschler leads this six-week course examining this infamous operatic tetralogy. You will discuss the life and work of Richard Wagner, and why his work holds a special place in the operatic canon while also gaining a basic understanding of Wagner’s life, work, and impact on the world of opera and concert music context and importance of The Ring (historical, dramatic, musical analyses) and be well prepared for SF Opera’s upcoming summer cycles. $95
Tues Apr 3 – May 8 from 12noon – 2pm SFSU Downtown Campus (835 Market), SF

Wagner’s Ring: I Saw the World End – Led by SF Opera dramaturg Kip Cranna, this six-week course will examine the Ring‘s long creative process and transformative operatic journey through a world unhinged by corruption, politics, greed, and neglect, where the one true power is the redeeming force of love. Discover how Wagner weaves this potent cautionary tale about the end of the world and the birth of a new order. All levels welcome! $145
Wed Apr 4 – May 9 from 2 – 4pm Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse 2020 Addison St., Berkeley

An Introduction to Wagner’s Ring Cycle – Join Ringleader Phyllis Neuman for this six-week course intended for those who have never experienced a Ring Cycle, or who have felt too intimidated by its length and complexity to attend a performance. In addition to breaking down the leitmotifs so you can better understand the complexity of Wagner’s music, visual and audio excerpts, photos, illustrations and other media will be used. $20/person.  Mon Apr 9 – May 14 from 10am – 12noon
Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz

Conducting Wagner – In this month’s talk SFCM faculty member Scott Foglesong will focus on those intrepid folks in the orchestra pit—the instrumentalists and the conductor. Legendary figures such as Hermann Levi, Felix Mottl, Hans Richter, and Wagner himself will be covered as well as the numerous conductors past and present who have left us recordings. Free for members, $10 fee for nonmembers. Sat Apr 7 at 1pm JCC-SF 3200 California St., SF

An Evening of Opera Honoring Legendary Tenor Richard Tucker – This program will feature recordings of the legendary opera singer and reflections on his personal and professional life and will be narrated by his son, Dr. David N. Tucker, and James A. Drake, biographer of Richard Tucker.
*FREE* Please register at the link above
Sat Apr 14 at 8pm Congregation Shir Hadash 20 Cherry Blossom Ln., Los Gatos

The Romantic Spirit in European Opera – Led by UCSB Professor Emeritus Simon Williams, this course will explore how Romanticism changed European opera. You will initially examine the Romantic movement itself, identifying such important matters as the rise of individualism, the obsession with the Gothic, the spread of revolutionary ideology, the intoxication of Romantic love, the worship of nature, and the idealization of the Medieval world, and then consider how these themes came to be incorporated into opera, which led to a transformation of the entire genre.
April 20 – 23 Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst, CA

First Act: Where the Wild Things Are – Have a rollicking adventure through the Oliver Knussen opera version of the beloved story Where The Wild Things Are, by author Maurice Sendak. In this workshop, we’ll explore music, rhythm, visual arts, movement and poetry, designed to foster social-emotional development, increased language, and fine-gross motor skills. Designed for youth ages 3-6 accompanied by at least one parent or guardian – all ability levels welcome, workshops are all-access. $10/person
Sat Apr 21 at 10am or 11:30am Wilsey Center for Opera 4th Floor, War Memorial Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Ave., SF

Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the SF Opera – Enjoy a preview of the upcoming production The Ring, presented in conjunction with the Asian Art Museum’s special spring exhibition, Divine Bodies. Exhibition curators and SFO dramaturg Kip Cranna will discuss the shared themes of the opera and exhibition: immortality and mortality, divine and human, and outer and inner forms. The evening concludes with excerpts from the performance. $5 + museum admission. Thurs Apr 26 from 7 – 8:30pm
Samsung Hall Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin St., SF

With OSJ General Director Larry Hancock as the instructor, this popular 6-week course covers 400 years of opera development. Course content includes the development and changes in the choice of opera subjects, the use of poetry and dialogue in the libretto, styles of musical composition, evolution of the opera orchestra, and changes in performance practice period by period. Each quick-paced session will be enhanced with visuals from other art forms, including fashion, architecture, painting, and sculpture, bringing a more complete knowledge of the society that influenced its composers.
**Registration now open** $60 fee; call the box office at (408) 437-4450.
Tues nights May 15 – July 19 from 7 – 9pm Opera San Jose HQ, 2149 Paragon Dr., SJ