OperaCartoon_1.jpgUpon first beginning The O Word, we had many ideas on how we wished to make opera more accessible to the masses: The blog was only our first plan. We had ideas for concerts, YouTube videos, cartoons and even more recently, Louis and I had planned our radio show “Val-Hallo!” (albeit, after a few glasses of wine).

With Louis moving away to continue his passions of opera and art song in England, it is unlikely that this expansion of The O Word will ever happen (and I don’t blame you if I hear a few sighs of relief!) but as previously mentioned in the Opera Education blog, I still have a burning desire to make opera more accessible for the unsure audience. When we first began The O Word, I began drawing cartoon figures of opera characters and the shows that they’re in, trying to explain the plot. Only problem was (and still is!): I can’t draw.

So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon some fabulous cartoons by artist William Elliott, designed for www.sinfinimusic.com. These drawings, cleverly organised, summarised difficult opera plots into simple cartoon strips and made these confusing plots a lot more easy and succinct for first-time opera-goers (and to be honest – constant opera goers!). Why haven’t these cartoons gone operatically viral?! I have to admit, I had found them on Pinterest… and I can’t imagine that a lot of our opera audiences go looking for plot explanations on Pinterest: When I visited the Sinfini Music website, I struggled to easily access them there as well. So I took matters into my own hands: I’ve posted them on The O Word page so that Perth audiences – and anyone else who may read The O Word – know that they’re there and easily accessible.

We do not own these cartoons nor do we seek to claim that we drew them (If you saw Louis and I draw – you’d understand!). We just love opera and think that these cartoons are too good to be missed by the audiences that seek to understand this art form better. We hope they come in handy for you and that you enjoy them as much as we have!

The internet is a wonderful thing for opera – This wonderful music and countless information is constantly at the tip of your fingers. At The O Word, we seek to find the most interesting and helpful articles and share them with you (as well as writing our own!) We hope you find these cartoons helpful and continue to use the wonderful world of the internet to find out more about opera!

Written by Katherine Goyder

So… Keen to figure out some plots of famous operas using cartoon strips? Follow the links below or go to The O Word main menu to find them now. We promise you won’t regret it!


Les Troyens


Peter Grimes


Cosi Fan Tutte
Don Giovanni
Marriage of Figaro

La Boheme
Madame Butterfly


The Rake’s Progress

La Traviata

The Flying Dutchman
Ring Cycle: Das Rheingold (1)
Ring Cycle: Die Walküre (2)
Ring Cycle: Siegfried (3)
Ring Cycle: Götterdämmerung (4)