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Opera. Passion, power and politics

  • Art
  1. 'El Liceu', Ramon Casas
    Foto: CaixaForum'El Liceu', Ramon Casas
  2. Òpera. Passió, poder i política
    Foto: CaixaForum
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Time Out says

Headphones on, absolute silence, like in an auditorium before the performance, and the voice of the conductor Josep Pons welcomes you to a journey through four centuries of history and eight European cities, accompanied by a soundtrack of fragments from operas by Monteverdi ('The Coronation of Poppaea'), Handel ('Rinaldo'), Mozart ('The Marriage of Figaro'), Verdi ('Nabucco'), Wagner ('Tannhäuser'), Albéniz ('Pepita Jiménez'), Strauss ('Salome') and Shostakovich ('Lady Macbeth'). This is 'Opera. Passion, power and politics', an exhibition produced by the Victoria & Albert Museum that opens the new season at Barcelona's CaixaForum after having been in Madrid.

One of the distinctive features of the exhibition is the immersive format – the soundtracks are activated and change as you move through the space, as in the 'David Bowie Is...' exhibition, also a V&A production. This project brings together 300 pieces, including instruments, sheet music and period objects, clothing, as well as audiovisuals and works of art.

Based on the idea of ​​opera as a manifestation of total art, often modern and groundbreaking, the exhibition makes connections within the political, economic and social context – with Pons already insinuating that opera is not that innocent. A special chapter is dedicated to Barcelona and Albéniz, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the reopening of the Liceu, with two jewels in the room: the composer's piano and the Ramon Casas painting of the theatre box in the Liceu, which is on special loan from La Rotonda del Cercle del Liceu.

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