We are delighted to announce that Opera North's Don Giovanni is available now on Digital Theatre Plus. As the first opera to be added to our catalogue, it marks a further step in our dedication to bring the best of performance to students everywhere, regardless of location, status or cost.
Opera was conceived at the end of the sixteenth century, at a time when new and exciting ideas were gaining momentum as part of the Renaissance movement. A group of young Florentine musicians and intellectuals (la camerata fiorentina) had become opposed to the excesses of the Renaissance polyphonic music, which was popular at the time - think of it in the same light as the birth of punk, which was a backlash to glam rock.
Fascinated by Ancient Greece they wanted to return to the simplicity of ancient tragedy. By the eighteenth century, opera had become mainstream. Opera houses began to open around the world. It was being performed to the masses in London and New York.
Our ambition is to enrich a young person's cultural education. Opera pushes the boundaries of form, bringing all disciplines of performance onto one stage. It is a total art form, born from an urge to express emotion through music and action. Opera presents great stories in an epic fashion, combined with the harmony of music, these songs can affect us intensely.
Over the years opera has evolved and it is now more varied than ever. Staging and set are a key element of new productions. Don Giovanni provides a perfect example of the ways in which directors have set out to modernize opera. We want to break down the misconceptions and prejudices surrounding opera and prove to all that it is an accessible art form which can help young people better understand human emotion, human nature and the world.