Mark Valencia, opera journalism

  • London Metropolitan University

Professional opera critic Mark Valencia led a Masterclass with the London Metropolitan University Writing&Talking Club in which he introduced Club members to journalism and opera, and shared techniques and insights into review writing and the life of a critic. After a crash course in opera via YouTube clips, Mark spoke about note-taking, writing and the general principles of theatre criticism, including the importance of balance, honesty and the various roles and responsibilities within a production. They discussed and critiqued a number of different professional reviews, and the workshop ended with a brainstorming session about the audience for their reviews. Overall, it was a hard-working, informative and interesting Masterclass that was excellent preparation for a trip to see a performance of La Bohème by English National Opera the following week. The reviews that members wrote afterwards were sent to ENO and the best two won tickets to the opening night of The Magic Flute.

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