Opera can be Murder

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Who knows, you might die laughing!

A tongue in cheek look at how opera dispatches its heroes and villains, in extracts by Verdi, Mascagni, Donizetti, Mozart and more. Discover heroines meeting their Maker still singing flat out, and bodies that revive at the crucial moment for top notes!

It’s all done with a great sense of fun and a healthy dose of irreverence but the music is absolutely top notch and ‘pukker’. So, the opera buff who knows and loves every note will enjoy hearing rarities such as Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Golden Cockerel’ or Weber’s ‘Die Freischütz’.

And for those who love the sound opera makes, or heard some on an advert, or were even dragged along by the other half, Opera can be Murder is a great fun evening that they will enjoy just for the sheer heck of it.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”left”]”A great new show… I would heartily recommend it to other promoters.”
Kevin Appleby, Artistic Director, Bury St Edmunds Festival [/blockquote]
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Opera can be Murder is fresh, furious and highly original, presenting the most dramatic of music in Hatstand’s unique informal style. With its entertaining, interactive approach, it’s ideal for theatres, arts centres and anywhere with a stage.

Why is opera so obsessed with ‘murder most foul’?
Strange, isn’t it? You know whodunnit, and usually their motive too, but why is opera SO obsessed with body count? Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple put her finger on it when she remarked how everything in life happens in a village, only it’s under the surface. Human nature is the same the world over, even in opera, it seems!

How we chose the extracts
Via the wonders of the Internet, Hatstand asked hundreds of opera fans across the world to vote for their favourite ‘gory moments’. (This was the first opera show we know of created globally via the ‘Net.) We got stacks of great emails, and about 120 suggested operas to listen to! An electronic sackload came from the Education Dept. at the Royal Opera House, a feast of ideas from a lunch break brainstorm at Opera America, wild and wacky suggestions from the opera buffs at OperaList, and some blood curdling moments from megastar mezzo Sarah Walker.

Isn’t it all rather grisly?
Not at all! It isn’t a series of death scenes, more a fun exploration of operas where people do meet sticky ends (and there’s plenty to choose from!). And it’s much more Miss Marple and Midsommer Murders than Cracker or The Bill; the golden rule of dying in opera after all, is to still be able to sing after being stabbed! No nasty morgues and corrupt detectives in opera, just great drama, music and, in this show, laughter, pathos, emotional moments and more.

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Opera can be Murder


Age Range: 18 – 98+


Content: dramatic scenes, surprisingly touching highlights and some just plain silly moments from operas featuring a murder – no accidents or nasty diseases allowed! Presented in Hatstand’s fun, informal style, with a higher body count than Midsomer Murders and more laughs than even Poirot can raise!


Suitable for:
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  • any venue or event with an established classical music or opera audience
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  • theatres
  • arts festivals
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  • music societies
  • open air events, etc
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Technical Requirements: proper staging and lighting – contact us for details.