My Opera Experience

Anna Appleby

Manchester-based composer and songwriter, originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne. Her work includes orchestral and operatic repertoire.

Anna Appleby

What was your first opera?

I saw Tosca (Puccini, 1900) when I was an undergrad.

What was the last opera you saw and where?

The last opera I went to was La bohème (The Bohemians, Puccini, 1896) at the Lowry Theatre in Salford with Opera North.

What is your favourite opera and why?

My favourite opera at the moment is either Peter Grimes (Britten, 1945) because of its realism and chorus scenes or Les Dialogues des Carmelites (1956) by Poulenc because of its unified melody. But this is probably because I saw them recently. I have a lot of favourite operas and would love to see more staged by female composers such as Ethel Smyth.

How did you get into opera?

I watched a lot of opera DVDs as a student and started to really love it.

What opera would you recommend to a newcomer and why?

Maybe a short one like L'enfant et les sortilèges: Fantaisie lyrique en deux parties (The Child and the Spells: A Lyric Fantasy in Two Parts, 1925) by Ravel because it is beautiful and funny.