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Rachel Cooke examines the trappings that surround opera-going, and what makes it worthwhile. Going to the opera can, for some, be something of a performance.

Rachel Cooke examines the trappings that surround opera-going, and what makes it worth it.

In an attempt to demystify this huge and multifaceted genre for the BBC's Opera season, five creative individuals examine their own encounters with opera. These personal essays reveal the variety of ways in which opera can seduce, fascinate, baffle, frustrate and utterly overwhelm.

Rachel Cooke trained at The Sunday Times as a reporter and now writes for the Observer and New Statesman. Her first book, Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties was published in 2013.

Opera, written and read by Rachel Cooke
Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company Production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

14 minutes

Broadcasts

BBC Opera Season

BBC Opera Season

On TV, radio and digital, in collaboration with the V&A and the Royal Opera House.

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The Book that Changed Me

Five figures from the arts and science introduce books that changed their lives and work.

Download The Essay

Download The Essay

Download all the episodes from the series and listen at your leisure.

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