Extending the Stage

Every season Madison Opera supplements its mainstage performances with innovative ways to experience and explore the breadth of the art form. From online lectures and in-person panel discussions to recitals and creative collaborations. Most of these programs are free and all of them are an enlightening exploration of opera.

Digital Previews

Have tickets to a performance? Thinking of buying some? Watch a multimedia preview of each show to learn more, with an entertaining look at its composer, history, and music, as well as information on Madison Opera’s production.

Watch live for the chance to ask questions of Kathryn during the preview; the previews will then remain online for you to watch whenever you wish.

Digital Preview: The Barber of Seville
Will stream on live on October 10, 2024
Watch on YouTube

Digital Preview: María de Buenos Aires
Will stream live on January 9, 2025
Watch on YouTube

Digital Preview: Don Giovanni
Will stream live on April 10
Watch on YouTubue

Opera Up Close

Madison Opera’s popular series of behind-the-scenes previews of each opera returns! General Director Kathryn Smith leads a multimedia exploration of the history of each opera, followed by a roundtable discussion with the production’s leading artists and creative team.

Opera Up Close is held at The Margaret C. Winston Madison Opera Center.

Admission is $20 for non-subscribers, $10 for 2 show subscribers and free to 3 show subscribers, payable at the door. Subscribe and save up to $60 on Opera Up Close tickets.

The Barber of Seville Up Close
Sunday, October 27, 1-3 pm

María de Buenos Aires Up Close
Sunday, January 26, 1-3 pm

Don Giovanni Up Close
Sunday, April 27, 1-3 pm

Opera Talk with Kathryn Smith

Opera contains so much more than what happens on stage in one production. In these hour-long lectures, General Director Kathryn Smith takes a dive into centuries of history, thematic connections, and stories, illustrated with slides, video, dry humor, and cute animals.

Watch live for the chance to ask questions of Kathryn during the talk; the talks themselves will remain online for you to watch when it suits you.

The schedule and topics for the 24/25 season will be posted here in July 2024.

Opera Talk: Novel Adaptations

There is nothing like a great book made into a great opera. Although sometimes great books can make mediocre operas, and mediocre books can make great operas. Join Kathryn for an exploration of literary opera, from Candide (Voltaire / Bernstein) to War and Peace (Tolstoy / Prokofiev) and beyond.

Opera Talk: Operatic Animals

Presenting the adorable side of opera! As winter begins, Kathryn will introduce you to some of opera’s cutest (or not-so-cute) animals, from those that have plot purposes (dragons, chiefly) to those that have trod the boards, shared dressing rooms with singers, and otherwise made audiences and performers smile for centuries.

Opera Talk: Killer Soprano Roles

Never turn your back on a soprano with a knife. Or poison in her ring. Or magic powers. Sometimes operatic characters learn these lessons the hard way. Join Kathryn for a dive into killer soprano roles, with a likely detour into some famous sopranos with equally killer voices.

Opera Postcards from Madison

Like love notes to our hometown, our Opera Postcards pair performers and places to bring you soaring music, a little bit of drama, and a lot of smiles. Watch below as we take you to the Children’s Museum, Central Library, Chazen Museum of Art, Olin Park, and the Overture Center for the Arts.