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Josh:how do you see the future of opera?

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#1 Orpheus


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Posted 29 November 2010 - 03:07 PM

Sure, technology has indirectly brought a lot to the experience/popularity of opera -- the ability to record/distribute audio, by itself, was a game changer, and I, for one (heathen) was a little distressed by how much more accessible and enjoyable I found opera on video, subtitled with the libretto and translation. I didn't *want* to like it more. I'd always felt it should be an occasion -- but I can't even recall the last time I went to a performance (partly because it's hard to find ladies who are enthusiastic about going with me)

Maybe I'm just too snobby in how I define opera. To be quite honest, many modern musicals are entirely operatic in scope and production, and many operas today are almost Broadway in their special effects and production values. But if I allow myself to consider opera and music to be brethren or even one continuous evolution, I fear many other rends of the performance art will chance. To me, opera is a personal performance by the artist -- a bravura display of human capability. I wouldn't want to see it fall subject to tone-bending and other tricks that may be new now but will be beyond mainstream and even expected in scant decades. Remember when the electric guitar was radical? Those guys are geezers now!

Nothing stands still, of course, not even opera: opera glasses, gas-fueled lime lights, and many of todays most popular orchestral instruments all arose after opera's early 16th century roots. Even the music itself evolved so much over the subsequent centuries (in that sense, I'd say that opera was sometimes more forward-looking than classical orchestral music) In that sense, artistic evolution *is* a heartbeat of the art. That's part of the question, too

So what changes do you see in the future for opera?

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