The Three Great Game Changers of 19th Century Opera

6 March 2024

Digby hall , hound street, sherborne at 3 pm and 7 pm

Gilbert and Sullivan

Miss Saigon Picture

Musicals A History


The world of opera is full of remarkable contributors, great game changers who leave the stage in a completely different place from the one they found. In the 19th Century three such men revolutionised the art form; in three very different ways; Verdi, Wagner and Puccini. This lecture will be illustrated with musical examples and excerpts of opera productions from around the world.

Jamie Hayes

Jamie is a theatre director, specialising in opera. After training at RADA, he worked for Kent Opera, Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, the BBC and English National Opera. He has directed many new opera productions in the UK whilst his new opera productions overseas have premiered in Reykjavik, Malta and Melbourne. Jamie was Associate Director on the original production of the hit musical Miss Saigon in the West End and on Broadway. He has directed many productions at leading conservatoires, including the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Jamie was Director of Productions for Clonter Opera in Cheshire. His La Traviata was awarded The Manchester Evening News Award for Best Opera in 2006 and his Don Giovanni of the following year received a nomination. His productions range from Mozart and Rossini via Verdi and Bizet to Gilbert and Sullivan and Britten. Jamie was Director of Productions for British Youth Opera for over a decade, a company devoted to promoting the talents of our finest young opera singers in the UK. Jamie lives in Buckinghamshire and is married to the mezzo-soprano Jean Rigby. They have three children.