January 22, 2011

Opera: myths and misconceptions

What is it about attending the opera that makes some people so antsy? Not knowing what to wear, knowing whether to pack a snack or not, having to take out a second mortgage to cover the cost of tickets, or simply fearing they might snore all the way through the entire show? Maybe it's a mix of all these stressful variables.

Some may argue that opera can be a little more complicated and involved than simply going to the movies or watching the game with your buddies. But, is it? All the same, opera is fantastic world of murder, mystery, redemption, love, and romance. And above all, it is usually pretty entertaining and comedic!

Well thanks to Today's Chicago Woman magazine and authors Magda Krance and Emily Lange, we are able to understand the trepidations some people have about going to the opera. Luckily these two authors completely dispel the collective myths and explain the reality of each in their article, "Opera for Beginners". But don't be fooled by the title, both the operatic novice and the seasoned pro can benefit from this handy article. They tackle the six most popular griefs and attitudes people have when it comes to hearing the fat lady sing:

1. I won't understand what they're singing.
2. I don't have opera gloves, a gown, or a tuxedo.
3. Tickets are too expensive.
4. Operas are soooooo long!
5. Opera is boring and irrelevant.
6. I don't know enough about classical music to 'get' opera.

What have you experienced? Reading this list, I can say that I have had my fair share of explaining to do with friends less versed in this outrageous vocal art. Even after some gentle coaxing and explaining, there is still a margin for error. Nonetheless, one must try.