Why listen to opera?
I recently followed a number of online conversations regarding the need to bring young 1people to the fold. Most simply investigated ways to get them yougins to accept shoddy libretti or get used to warbling but some voices suggested new generations needed to completely scrape old school opera (pre 1950s, I guess). Whilst I get contemporary composers’ frustrations with having to compete with the greats from the past, I don’t know that kicking the inevitable La traviata and Le nozze out of the programme is what should be done. Just because one is young it doesn’t mean they only want to listen to contemporary sounds. Ideally war horses should coexist with new works.
But back to young people as the target. Should they be the only target? It took me a while to get into opera2, which makes me think there might be more than one reason why opera audiences are older. Maybe there are quite a few people who get into it later in life, after having spent time exploring and enjoying other genres. The reason why I turned to opera was because I got bored with contemporary sounds, so honestly, the last thing I wanted to hear in the opera house was something that resembled high brow pop music. But that’s me. Others have their reasons.
- operaramblings recommended Ruth Elleson to me as a very knowledgeable local opera fan so I looked her up but what with not being on Twitter, I ended up checking out her inactive blog. It’s a good read and the linked post is on this very subject. ↩
- In truth I had a pretty good intro (via famous arias and choruses) but I didn’t listen to a full opera until about 2 decades later. ↩