Listen up dearie, let's debunk some common opera myths!
If you’ve never been to the opera before, you may have some misconceptions. Don't worry, you're not alone! Grandma's here to teach you a thing or two. So let's shake off those cobwebs, have a nice cup of tea, and learn what going to the opera is really like...
My heavens, no! Come as you are or glam it up!
On weeknights people often show up in what they wore to the office that day, and on Fridays and Sundays, we see everything from dressy to jeans. On Saturdays – opening nights – some like to wear a suit or step out in a special dress. But just wear whatever makes you feel comfortable!
Everyone in this photo is dressed perfectly for the opera! (Photo credit: David Bachman)
English texts are always projected above the stage, just like subtitles at the movies. While many operas are in Italian, German, or French, there are many in English too. You'll understand every word!
Do you think sword fights are boring? What about dancing, poisonings, secret plots, epic romances, or twist endings?
Operas have these in spades! That's why the term "operatic" has come to mean "dramatic to the nth degree."
These two will slice your notions of "boring" to threads! (Photo credit: David Bachman)
Operas come in all shapes and sizes!
The shortest opera we know of is 13 minutes long, and the longest one takes 7 days! You can find the running time for each opera we present on its main website page, under "Details and Resources." Many operas are the same length as any musical or play, with an intermission or two along the way.
Just like music has changed a lot in the last 400 years, opera has too!
While almost all operas make use of "classical voice technique," which give operas their signature vocal style, the musical style can vary from Baroque to even Hip Hop!
We Shall Not Be Moved lays down fresh beats (Video credit: RLG Creations)
Some playful 18th century coluratura from Semele (Video credit: RLG Creations)
Some rousing 19th century bravado from Carmen (Video credit: RLG creations)
A jazzy number from Charlie Parker's Yardbird (Video credit: RLG Creations)
You don’t need to study before you go to the opera any more than you have to study before you go to a movie!
Opera is a performing art meant to be enjoyed as is. For people who want to familiarize themselves with the plot in advance, there is a synopsis on the opera’s webpage and program books. And if you want to nerd out you can go to the Pre Opera Talk, Meet The Artists, or pick up a Study Guide at our education table. But you don’t need to do any of those to enjoy the show and understand what’s happening!
Not so! There are many comic operas, operas for children, and heartwarming love stories too.
While there are operas that will truly break your heart or scare you to your core, opera plays with every human emotion, especially the good ones!
Who doesn't love a happy ending? (Photo credit: David Bachman)