Opera: Passion, Power and Politics opened at the V&A on September 30 and will run until February 25, 2018. This inaugural exhibition in the V&A’s new Sainsbury Gallery is the first exhibition to explore opera on such a grand scale and follows opera’s roots in Renaissance Italy to the present-day, focusing on seven operatic premieres in seven European cities.

Performances from world class opera singers are played via Bowers & Wilkins headphones, dynamically changing as you explore the cities and objects, to create an evocative and fully immersive sound experience.

The exhibition was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in collaboration with The Royal Opera House and curated by Kate Bailey, Senior Curator, Design and Scenography, Theatre & Performance at the V&A.

Images, clockwise from left: “Milano”, from the series Fratelli d’Italia (2005-2016) (c) Matthias Schaller; View of Venice Frederick de Wit (1629–1706) Engraving on paper © Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Eva Gonzalès (1849–83) Oil on canvas, c.1874 Paris, Musée d’Orsay, gift of Jean Guérard, 1927 © Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France, Bridgeman Images