COMING SOON! August 2 thru 15, "Opera and Film" webinar -- Check back for more info soon!!

Get your videos of William Berger's past Zoom webinar "The Epic of Opera!" Purchase now!!

  • The Epic of Opera

  • A Live, Vibrant, Star-Studded Online Course
  • The Epic of Opera

  • An In-Depth Journey to the Soul of the Art Form -- Feel Free to Drink
  • The Epic of Opera

  • A Leap Through Time and Space
  • The Epic of Opera

  • A Rowdy, Raucous, Mind-Bending Race Through History
  • The Epic of Opera

  • A Crashing Blow To Previous Preconceptions
  • The Epic of Opera

  • A Mesmerizing, Meditative Stroll Toward a Deeper Understanding ...Have Snacks Handy

The Epic of Opera

A Live, Vibrant, Star-Studded Online Course

The Epic of Opera

An In-Depth Journey to the Soul of the Art Form -- Feel Free to Drink

The Epic of Opera

A Leap Through Time and Space

The Epic of Opera

A Rowdy, Raucous, Mind-Bending Race Through History

The Epic of Opera

A Crashing Blow To Previous Preconceptions

The Epic of Opera

A Mesmerizing, Meditative Stroll Toward a Deeper Understanding ...Have Snacks Handy

“The Epic of Opera with William Berger" was an eight-session course/community convergence addressing the subject of opera itself: What IS it? Why is it the way it is? How did it become that way? What can be gained from engaging with it that can’t be gained elsewhere? The course followed the development of this most unusual art form. So, it was a sort of a history—but really it was an inquiry into context rather than a historical rundown. What emerged was a sense of how opera—far being merely a freakish side show to the pageant of history—is actually a sort of vast audio-visual-sensual kaleidoscope, providing a unique, profound, and essential perspective on that pageant.

“I don't think there's anything out there like this," Berger says, "either on line or elsewhere. There are webinars for singing technique, for music history, and even for backstage gossip, but nothing else unpacking the very question of what this art form is and how best to mine its deep vein of gold, today and tomorrow. As such, this is for everybody, from the complete newcomer to the jaded know-it-alls needing a reboot of this huge subject.”

Recordings of all sessions are available for free to those who purchase a package. Get individual videos below, at the bottom of the page.

If you previously purchased a subscription: go the bottom of the page, choose a video, and enter your special Discount Code when processing payment! Use that code through July 15!

 “The Epic of Opera” is aimed at everyone, from the absolute newcomer to the most rabid and educated fan – a range which William Berger says he has the ability to encompass every time as his “one and only (but essential) Superpower.” The course aims to be fun, yet substantial and eye- (and ear- and mind-) opening for all who participate. No attendee will be left behind, and at the same time, no attendee will be left unchallenged. He says, “Every time we encounter an artistic masterpiece, it is a new creation and we are experiencing it for the first time: that’s what defines a masterpiece.” “The Epic of Opera” is a distilled online analogue of the evergreen, life-long experience of encountering opera as if anew, and guaranteed to have more “ah hah!” moments for the participants than any other webinar on line.

What you will see with a "The Epic of Opera Video Package" (individual videos are available at bottom of page):

Session #1: The Strange Creation of the Florentine Camerata

Sunday June 7th, 4:00 PM NY Time

What was this strange thing called “opera”? What is it now? Why is it what it is, and what do we really need to know about it in order to mine its vein of gold? 

Special Guest: Justino Díaz

Featured Cocktail: The Don Justino, by Benson Liam Serr

Playlist

Session #2: The Baroque – The Theater of Art, Sexuality, and God

Tuesday June 9th 7:30 PM NY Time

The so-called “Age of Reason” sought extreme measures to reconcile the split between Art and Nature, and some of their operatic creations (e.g., the box office, warped time, and outlandish celebrity singers) continue to define life in our day

Special Guest: Anthony Roth Costanzo

Featured Cocktail: The Castrato, by Hunter Thore

Playlist

Session #3: There’s Something About Mozart

Thursday June 11th 7:30 PM NY Time

A very few artists (Shakespeare and The Beatles also come to mind) are so great that the magnitude of their greatness prevents people from appreciating how great (and enjoyable) they actually are. Mozart heads this list. What did he really accomplish, and how do we access it (and savor it) without being crushed by the pressure to worship his art?

Special Guest: Christine Goerke

Featured Cocktail: The Madamina, by Carlos Crowcell-Avelar

Playlist

Session #4: Madness and Magnificence in Bel Canto and Grand Opéra

Saturday June 13th 4:00 PM NY Time

Vocal abilities become characters of their own in the 19th century, creating forms of opera that will never be understood by the prosaic. But with a few new ways of looking at these forms, we can experience profound journeys in places where literalists can only see fodder for satire and cartoons.

Special Guest: Jamie Barton

Featured Cocktail: The Rossini, by William Berger

Playlist

Session #5: Romantics and Nationals – The World Got Smaller, Opera Got Bigger

Sunday June 14th 4:00 PM NY Time

Verdi and Wagner blazed bright and created works that we are still just beginning to unpack today, while a curious “little” work called Carmen showed up unassumingly – and changed everything in the opera house and beyond.

Special Guest: Morris Robinson

Featured Cocktail: The Palais Garnier, by Casey Emerald

Playlist

Session #6: Things Get Real: Verismo, Cinema, and Modern Urban Life

Tuesday June 16th 7:30 PM NY Time

New technologies for seeing and hearing the worlds of what people were able – and willing – to see and hear in the beauty and brutality of the world. Suddenly, audiences are content to open the door to such moments as the heroine of one opera of the new verismo style screaming from her gut “Per ché non sono morta?!?” (“Why am I not DEAD!”)

Special Guest: Latonia Moore

Featured Cocktail: The "Tremava Tutta Roma," by Dino Colacito

Playlist

Session #7: The Cataclysm of Modernity

Thursday June 18th 7:30 PM NY Time

At the beginning of the 20th Century, Einstein and Picasso show everyone that time and space (respectively) are relative. So opera – the bastard step-child of time and space – offers a century’s worth of ways to respond these Great Brain Fries, from shattering existential angst to palliative vernacular loveliness. 

Special Guest: Anthony Dean Griffey

Featured Cocktails: The Countess Geshpritz, by Carlos Crowcell-Avalar

Playlist

Session #8: The Recent Past, Today, and Tomorrow… “What IS Reality Anyway, Man?”

Saturday June 20th 5:00 PM NY Time

New operas continue to be created at a rate that would have made our ancestors gag with envy, despite (or because of) a lack of consensus about the one “right” way to write them. There are new ways to savor the old art form, and traditional ways to experience it are challenged by new realities. How will the art form – and its audience – evolve into tomorrow?

Special Guest: Susanna Phillips

Featured Cocktail: The Minimalist Mule, by Hunter Thore

Playlist

Recordings of all sessions are available for free to those who purchase a package. Get individual videos below, at the bottom of the page.

If you previously purchased a subscription: go the bottom of the page, choose a video, and enter your special Discount Code when processing payment! Use that code through July 15!

Author / Commentator William Berger

  • "Witty, knowledgeable, iconoclastic, and emphatically nonacademic...Often outrageously funny."

  • -- Library Journal
  • "...Amusing, educational..."

  • -- Publisher's Weekly

"Witty, knowledgeable, iconoclastic, and emphatically nonacademic...Often outrageously funny."

-- Library Journal

"...Amusing, educational..."

-- Publisher's Weekly

The Epic of Opera Videos

Questions??

If you have any questions, please contact us at williambergerpresents@gmail.com!