Thursday, February 16, 2012

Romeo and Juliette: A Trip to the Opera

Last week I made arrangements for my British Lit class to go to the opera. We studied Romeo and Juliet last semester, so going to the opera Romeo and Juliette seemed like an excellent opportunity.

Can I confess something? I don't really get opera. This is my third one. I've also seen Madame Butterfly and Medea. It's kind of like the feeling I have when I watch ballet; although, truthfully (and my apologies to all of you who have little ballerinas), I like opera much, much more than ballet.

Oh please. I'm an artsy kind of person. I could stand in the Louvre for days and days and days. I can listen to the symphony for hours with only a few pleasant naps (on my mother's Russian pony fur coat, but that's another story). I eat up plays and musicals.

It's just that I don't get opera. I just get… well, here it is. I'm saying it: I. Get. Bored.

I would actually rather attend a football game than attend the opera or ballet. I can't believe I just said that. But at least at football games (I've been to two in the past 22 years), I can watch people and eat hamburgers. Operas and ballets are in dark rooms, and everyone is so serious. And snacks are seriously frowned upon.

So there it is. At the end of my 45th year, I have admitted my utter lack of appreciation of these two fine arts.

P.S. I did not share my opinion of the opera with my literature class. At least 3 of my students voiced that they really, really liked the opera. And I am tremendously happy that they were all exposed to opera. Maybe someday the rest of them will be opera lovers. Or maybe they'll comment on the drunk guy in front of them at the football game. Or maybe both.


  1. Were there subtitles? I do much better with those!

    I was a music major and there are just a few operas I really enjoy... I would much rather listen to bits and pieces, so I understand your feelings!

  2. Indeed, there were subtitles, which I enjoyed very much.

  3. Confession: my kids love performing in musical theatre...and I cannot get through one (kid theatre, professional - doesn't matter) without being completely bored; even if my kids are in them and I have the angst of hoping they remember their lines.

    I appreciate it...I just don't have the class to fully engage myself and enjoy it.

  4. And I must confess to the same sentiments as my sister. I, too, do not get opera, nor do I particularly enjoy ballet. And yes, I've seen my fill... but no more, and no thank you!

  5. I did a study abroad in Austria and watched a total of 9 operas that summer, most at the Vienna State Opera house. If anything would make me fall in love with opera it would have to be that, but I too do not enjoy opera. Though we did learn that opera was originally designed to be background entertainment at a social function where there was feasting and chatting. I think under those circumstances I could have enjoyed it.

    About ballet, I don't really get the storytelling aspect of it, but I think recitals are manageable. And with two little girls (5 & 3) who love ballet I see many recitals i our future!

  6. That's a great point, Amber. I do like ballet recitals, come to think about it. I just don't enjoy, like you said, the storytelling ballet.

  7. I always find it ironic that I'm a music teacher and I really don't like musicals (South Pacific, Music Man, etc.). My professor would cringe if she heard me admit that. Thanks for encouraging honesty. :)


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