MUSO: Singing Museums to Life
Using improvised opera to engage audiences with research and collections, using museums as our stage.

MUSO is an experimental new show presented by improvising opera troupe, Impropera and the Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL Culture, which invites audiences into museums and galleries after dark for an experience like no other. During the show visitors go on a journey through a collection and are invited to seek out hidden artefacts, share their responses, hear from an expert and watch as a completely improvised musical show is created on the spot based on their ideas.

MUSO is the first of its kind of performance; an explosive collaboration between opera, academia, art and science that places the audience at the heart of the show.

What audiences say:

"What a lovely light-hearted way to experience something extra about the exhibits"
"Nice to have audience participation and an opportunity to interact with the collections"
"My discovery was sung about so made the experience extra special, loved being part of the show"

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MUSO Singing Museums to Life Tour 2017/18 

Starting at the British Museum, Muso is embarking on a tour of London museums over the next year, taking in collections of fine art, zoology, anthropology, musical instruments and archaeology. Muso will collaborate with evolutionary biologists, astrophysicists, anthropologists and philosophers from UCL and curators bring museums and their collections to life through song. 

Tour dates

Friday 13 October - British Museum 

Wednesday 31 January - Science Museum

Friday 13 April - Wallace Collection 

Thursday 9 November - Grant Museum of Zoology

Thursday 8 March - Grant Museum of Zoology

Thursday 16 May – Grant Museum of Zoology

MUSO to date

MUSO started life as a research and development project supported by Arts Council England in 2015 with the Grant Museum of Zoology. Following up a year later UCL Museums and Collections hosted the Theatrically Re-imagining Collections conference, which brought over 130 practitioners together to discuss ideas and practice around collaborations between performance companies and museums. A diverse range of museums and heritage organisations such as the V+A, British Museum National Trust and Historic Royal Palaces. 18 performance companies such as Sherman Cymru, Frantic Assembly, Trinity Laban and the Nottingham Playhouse were also in attendance along with representatives from Wellcome.   

MUSO in the press

Museum ID Magazine: Singing Museums to Life: Improvised Opera, Audiences and Collections 

Miro Magazine: Muso by Impropera – Singing Hidden Treasures to Life 

MUSO reviews 

Five stars from Spy in the Stall  

Five stars from London Theatre

Four stars from the Review Hub 

The people behind MUSO

David Pearl

Artistic Director, Impropera

Chiara Ambrosio

Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science, Department of Science and Technology Studies

Dean Veall

Learning and Access Officer, Grant Museum of Zoology

Star shaped logo for UCL Grand Challenges



Muso: Singing Museums to Life is generously supported by the UCL Grand Challenges, a cross-disciplinary research-related initiatives at UCL, London’s Global University, intended to benefit the world.


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