Alternative Classical, an organisation that creates and promotes new approaches to classical music, is this month launching Opera Roulette, a new digital ‘game’ that allows viewers to watch selected scenes from operas.

Opera Roulette is a classical jukebox comprising more than 200 high-quality YouTube videos curated by the Alternative Classical team. It is free to use and is described by the organisation as “an easy way to discover opera without needing any prior knowledge of the artform”.

Viewers start the online game, which is available on Alternative Classical’s website, by clicking the ‘Click’ button to access a digital opera performance chosen randomly from the list. They can then decide whether they want to watch the scene or click ‘Another!’ to go to a new recording. Each video, embedded from YouTube, starts at the moment of the upbeat.

With scenes from operas from the renaissance to the present day, viewers might be presented with a well-known classic from the Royal Opera House or a pop-up performance in a supermarket. The chosen videos are all live performances that have been filmed in high definition. The music choices span from the late renaissance/early baroque period to today, with music by Monteverdi, Purcell, Mozart, Joseph Bologne, Puccini, Janáček, Ethel Smyth, Judith Weir and Jeanine Tesori, among many more.

The recordings are from a whole selection of organisations in the UK and further afield, including Glyndebourne in East Sussex, Garsington Opera in Oxfordshire, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Komische Oper Berlin, English National Opera and British Youth Opera.

The format follows Alternative Classical’s popular Classical Roulette, which launched in April 2020 at the height of the global coronavirus health crisis. It has been played by thousands of people in more than 100 countries over the last year and continues to get hits from all over the world.

Performers can submit their own videos for possible inclusion. Simply fill in the Google Form, including details of the recording. The video should be a full aria or piece, not an excerpt or trailer, available on YouTube which the performer has the rights to use.



Alternative Classical is launching Opera Roulette, a digital jukebox of carefully curated operatic scenes from opera houses from around the world.