Opera Critic & Historian Fred Plotkin to Host Virtual Talk: ‘A Gay Romp Through Four Centuries of Opera’

By Chris Ruel
(Photo credit: Frances Marshall)

What’s opera about? Passion? Drama? Politics? Sex? All the above, of course, and it’s been that way since 1597, even in the face of censorship. Yet, the prohibitions around taboo topics such as politics and sex caused composers and librettists to get creative when including such material in their operas.

Opera critic, author, and historian par excellence Fred Plotkin will host “A Gay Romp Through Four Centuries of Opera: Not Everyone is a Queen” on Sunday, April 25, at 2:00 P.M. EDT. Plotkin will examine how sex in its myriad of expressions merged with politics and incredible musicianship to produce an art form that transgressed boundaries from the get-go.

Operas Plotkin will explore include “L’Incoronazione di Poppea,” “Giulio Cesare,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “La Clemenza di Tito,” “Fidelio,” “Roberto Devereux,” “Tannhäuser,” “Die Walküre,” “Un Ballo in Maschera,” “Don Carlo,” “Die Fledermaus,” “Der Rosenkavalier,” “Lulu,” “Billy Budd,” “Death in Venice,” and “As Is.”

The organizer of the talk is Professor Andrew Lear, a world-renowned expert on sexuality in art and the author of the best-known book on sexuality in Greek vase-painting. He is also the founder of Oscar Wilde Tours, the gay history tour company, and Shady Ladies Tours, the woman’s history tour company.