George Bernard Shaw as music and opera critic
In the late 1880s and early 1890s, before concentrating on his career as a dramatist, George Bernard Shaw was a prominent and popular music critic, writing weekly articles under the pseudonym Cornetto di Basso. He was knowledgeable and perceptive about music, in some respects far ahead of his time. All of this emerges in his sometimes devastating reviews of concerts and opera performances, but in his witty, often outrageous articles he also displayed a keen eye for the late Victorian musical scene more generally: the concert-going public, the adulation of star performers, the management and staging of opera.
In his talk, which will be illustrated by photographs, Anthony Ogus will provide an account of the relevant period of Shaw's life and of the contemporary music scene, as an introduction to reading some extracts from his reviews.
About the speaker
Anthony Ogus is a retired academic lawyer, and an Emeritus Professor at the Universities of Manchester and Rotterdam. He is an elected Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded the CBE in 2002. In 2013 he published a book on opera-going, Travels with My Opera Glasses, and he now writes a monthly article for the Opera Now magazine. He also records works of English Literature for LibriVox
Supper: A hot buffet will be served.