Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

Together the V&A and the Royal Opera House present a landmark exhibition exploring 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.

This exhibition is now closed at V&A South Kensington

It’s a remarkable achievement that ultimately has the potential to change the way you think.

The Guardian

The V&A’s spectacular new show has something for opera snobs, opera virgins and all shades between.

The Times

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics is devoted to a richly complex passage in European cultural history. Dramatically lit, boldly theatrical and graphically vivid.

The Telegraph

Throughout, you’re hearing sounds so beautiful that it’s a wrench to leave one historic moment and enter another. You want to stick with what you’re hearing. What drives you on is curiosity to see what the clever organisers have come up with next.

Evening Standard

Sponsored by

Global banking group Societe Generale is delighted to be building on its long-term partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum as lead sponsor of its major exhibition for 2017, Opera: Passion, Power and Politics in collaboration with the Royal Opera House. With the ambition of bringing classical music beyond its traditional audiences, Societe Generale has established itself as a key player in the musical world, celebrating 30 years of support in 2017.

In collaboration with

Exhibition highlights

Past events


Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

Sound partner