Opera is today something so connected with class that it is hard for us to see how influential a movement it is.
Lucy Worsley’s two-part series for BBC Two examines the history of opera that might help people get a better perspective of it. In the opening episode she looks the works of Monteverdi who included real-life historical figures the audience could connect with, and how Mozart’s work helped to reflect changes in society.
There’s also Beethoven’s operas that embraced the French Revolution, and Verdi’s compositions that helped to inspire Italian independence.
Lucy Worsley’s Nights at the Opera is on BBC Two at 21.00.