Music, drama, song and spectacle – opera has it all. And behind the curtain lies soaring egos, lurid scandals, and the lurking threat of fiscal and artistic disaster. You don’t have to be a die-hard opera fan to enjoy this colorful glimpse of the musical and social history behind the grandest entertainment medium of all time.

Join popular historian John Maietta as he presents a two-part program, “Life on the Golden Stage: A Short History of Opera,” from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15 and 22 at the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St.

Highlighting this two-part program will be short video excerpts from some of the world’s most popular operas, including the passionate Carmen, the comical Barber of Seville, and that tragic tale of a “fallen woman” (highlighted by Hollywood in Pretty Woman), La Traviata. Your front-row seat is waiting!

Maietta, who has been a passionate fan of history throughout his life, is a native of Williamsport. He worked for many years as a freelance photographer and public relations specialist in the Harrisburg area, where he lives.

At the same time, he served as a public affairs officer with the Pennsylvania National Guard, volunteering for numerous active-duty assignments in Washington, D.C., Europe and Iraq.

Now retired from both the military and business professions, he has launched a third career in adult and community education, bolstered by his receipt of a master’s degree in applied history from Shippensburg University. He is on the adjunct faculty of York College of Pennsylvania, where he teaches a course on the foundations of Western Civilization. He also is a popular presenter of public lectures on a wide variety of cultural and historical topics.

This program is one of the many ways Pennsylvania public libraries support the PA Forward Initiative by providing civic and social literacy opportunities for learning.

The program will be presented in the Lowry Room on the third floor of the Welch Children’s Wing. Registration is suggested, but not required. Visit to register or call 570-326-0536.

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at