Opera: Passion, Power and Politics
Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics Tickets

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, SW7 2RL
  • Opera: Passion, Power and Politics
    Sponsored by Societe Generale
    30 September 2017 – 25 February 2018
    The Victoria and Albert Museum

    Together the V&A and the Royal Opera House create a landmark exhibition presenting a vivid story of opera from its origins in late-Renaissance Italy to the present day. Told through the lens of seven premieres in seven European cities, this immersive exhibition takes you on a journey through nearly 400 years, culminating in the international explosion of opera in the 20th and 21st centuries.

    The Opera: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition reveals how the creation of a new opera can reflect the social, political, artistic and economic conversations that define cities, and reveals the process of making opera from libretto to score, from design to performance.

    The cities and premieres explored are: Venice and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, 1642; London and Handel’s Rinaldo, 1711; Vienna and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, 1786; Milan and Verdi’s Nabucco, 1842; Paris and Wagner’s Tannhäuser in its revised version, 1861; Dresden and Richard Strauss’s Salome, 1905; and St Petersburg and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, 1934.

    Opera: Passion, Power and Politics is the inaugural exhibition in the V&A’s new Sainsbury Gallery, a new purpose-built subterranean gallery opening as part of the Exhibition Road Project and one of the largest temporary exhibition spaces in the UK. 

    Book your Opera: Passion, Power and Politics tickets today!

    Photo: 'Milano' from the series 'Fratelli d’Italia' 2005-2016 credit Matthias Schaller.

    Sponsored by Societe General
    Sound Partner Bowers & Wilkins
    Generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and The Taylor Family Foundation. 
    With further support from GRoW @ Annenberg, Bertelsmann and Cockayne Grants for the Arts – a donor-advised fund of The London Community Foundation.

    The Victoria and Albert Museum's collections span two thousand years of art in virtually every medium, from many parts of the world, and visitors to the museum encounter a treasure house of amazing and beautiful objects. The story of the V&A's foundation helps to explain its astonishing richness and diversity.

    The Museum was established in 1852, following the enormous success of the Great Exhibition the previous year. Its founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as it was initially known, and exhibits were purchased to form the basis of its collections.

    The Museum moved to its present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum. Its collections expanded rapidly as it set out to acquire the best examples of metalwork, furniture, textiles and all other forms of decorative art from all periods. It also acquired fine art - paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture - in order to tell a more complete history of art and design.

    Generous funding and a less competitive art market than today's meant that the young Museum was able to make many very important acquisitions. The Museum itself also grew, with new buildings being added as and when needed. Many of these buildings, with their iron frames and glass roofs, were intended to be semi-permanent exhibition halls, but they have all survived and are one of the finest groups of Victorian buildings in Britain.

    In 1899, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of a new building designed to give the Museum a grand façade and main entrance. To mark the occasion, it was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, in memory of the enthusiastic support Prince Albert had given to its foundation.

    Map & Directions: Victoria and Albert Museum


    MOBILITY AIDS: Wheelchairs and walking frames are available at the information desk in the Grand Entrance. Stools are also available in a range of galleries.


    INDUCTION LOOPS: Yes. Neck loops and radio receivers for use on talks and tours are also available from the information desk in the Grand Entrance


    NEAREST TUBE/RAIL STATION: South Kensington, Gloucester Road and Knighsbridge.

    BUSES: 14, 74, 360, 414 and C1.

    NEAREST CAR PARKS: Union Car Park on Harrington Road and Chelsea Cloisters Car Park on Sloane Avenue.


  • Victoria and Albert Museum

    Cromwell Road,
    SW7 2RL

  • Full Seating Plan