Opera is my greatest passion. I love it to the point long ago, I decided to turn this love into a dream and the dream into a goal, and since childhood, I threw myself headlong into the study and listening of the opera to make it my own life.
I have not listened to those who told me that culture does not feed people nor to those who maintained that the Paris Opera was too far away from my little world, and with determination, luck, and a bit of madness, I got what I wanted.
None of my childhood friends shared my passion for opera, as most of the new friends met on the way. Still, season after season, I invited them to spend a night at the opera, to attend performances, I involved them. The magic worked for everyone because when the lights go down, and the orchestra begins to tune, the excitement becomes palpable, and everything sparks.
In the coming days, I would like to invite also the readers of my little blog to discover opera and its theaters and festivals, but before telling you about this world that gave me so much, here are eight excellent reasons to spend a night at the opera:
1. going to the opera to experience art in its fullest form
The opera is music and theater, dance, poetry, architecture, painting, sculpture, video, lighting, history … a night at the opera embodies all forms of expression invented by men to enhance reality in all its beauty.
2. to be carried away by universal feelings
In past centuries the opera was the art privileged by the courts but loved by the people for whom it was passion, recreation, education, solace, and incentive. This is thanks to scores and librettos that were able to excite and arouse universal feelings, which didn’t change.
We often see in it an elitist role. Still, the beauty of opera lies in its being for everybody, and accordingly, with the past, the age, and the personal culture, everyone can experience it personally, but always intensely.
3. to rediscover the same titles production after production
The opera is special because it is alive and in constant evolution. At the same time, it’s always itself: the same titles are never really the same, and so over the years, I attended hundreds of performances of Don Giovanni, Boris Godunov, Tosca, Falstaff, Elektra, Salome, etc. and the truth is that the emotions you feel completely change from one production to another.
Directors, conductors, set designers, lighting directors, costume designers, and of course the performers offer their version, and every time there is something new, and it’s magic …
4. to escape from reality
Going to the opera is attending a unique and alive performance. On stage, backstage, in the orchestra pit, and the hall, every minute is unprecedented … the show is alive and is experienced in unison by hundreds of people. Emotions can be erratic, but they live in communion, which makes them unique. In some cases, explosive, as invariably happens with the A flat of Violetta in the finale of the first act of La Traviata.
During a performance of Cosi fan tutte it is impossible not to laugh as it is impossible not to be moved by Puccini or fall in love with history attending Don Carlo, and this is how we forget our daily life to live for a few hours the one great composers are telling us.
5. to be oneself and show off
A night at the opera is a great occasion to show off outfits that we always keep in the wardrobe because excessive or, better yet, we dare not buy because we would not know on what occasion to wear them. However, going to the opera is also an excellent opportunity to be oneself and dress as we prefer, whether it’s jeans and T-shirts or long dresses with sequins.
Personally I go for evening gown, overly excessive shoes and glaringly garish jewelry … an excellent opportunity to counterbalance hiking boots, Peruvian hat and T-shirts 😉
6. to discover splendid opera houses and theaters
Whether you’re interested in architecture or not, the beauty of opera houses always leaves people speechless: Italian theaters, amphitheaters, or modern concert halls and then foyers, marble staircases, ornate ceilings … a feast of beauty and history.
7. because the opera is our history
Opera is part of our culture, of our history, and our daily lives. We listen to opera arias and overtures in advertising, movies, TV series, and pop songs’ melodies. We listen, and we know them by heart without even noticing …
Opera speaks to us and about us.
Opera is a too precious heritage and we can’t leave it behind us.
8. to travel!
Those who already love to travel will only be one more valid reason not to stop, while those who are still hesitant will feel an irresistible urge.
Opera lovers are spoiled and have plenty of choice among theaters and summer festivals plus they always are in beautiful capitals of the world, fantastic destinations among magnificent mountains or along the coast, and it is hard to resist … 😉
If you have never been to the opera, perhaps it’s because you think it’s too expensive, but it’s not true! There are places for all budgets, and many theaters are practicing low-cost rates for young people, for unemployed and retirees, but also for those who are willing to wait for a last-second seat.
It may also be that you have never been to the opera because you saw it on TV and found it incomprehensible and boring. Still, I assure you that this world has to be discovered in life. Perhaps the extract that you happened to see was complicated and hard to digest for a first try … if you want, I will be more than happy to suggest you a good title, director, or singer for a first successful approach! I never failed my friends 😉