How we learned to listen at the opera
Until the middle of the nineteenth century, attending the opera was primarily a social rather than an aesthetic experience. The audience, more interested in the theatre taking place in the auditorium boxes, gave only occasional attention to the drama taking place on stage. Yet from the middle of the nineteenth century audiences began to listen to opera in darkness and in silence, as we still do today. In this talk Nicholas Till will examine the social and cultural forces that brought this change about.