By in Music

My Take on Opera - A Middle Ground Approach

Opera. Many people claim to despise it. But really, most people ignore it. In part, probably because they've never experienced it. But opera, or perhaps rather operatic excerpts, have their devotees.

I am one of the latter. I do not generally appreciate entire operas. Perhaps it's because I'm used to musicals, in which a story is occasionally "interrupted" by song. The songs are well written, the plot is hot, I love it. However, what I do not like is a musical peppered by 'too many' songs. It's one of the reasons I never enjoyed Thoroughly Modern Millie .

What does one do if they are stuck in the middle ground as I am? Simply listen to the arias, or other excerpts of an opera? Well, I do believe I have an in-between solution for those like me.

Read the libretto (the plot and dialogue). Then play the musical excerpts. That way, you can get a better impact over the emotion of the moment, poured out of the hearts of the better performers. Here is the URL of a collective page for various operatic libretti...

Opera Folio (Libretti)

And here is one of my favorite songs from the opera Turandot, entitled Nessun Dorm, sung by rank amateur (at the time) Paul Potts. Feel what he feels. Doesn't he make you want to find out what the opera was all about?

Nessun Dorma

Image Credit » Pixabay

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Kasman wrote on December 30, 2017, 9:55 AM

I have never really 'got' opera. It just isn't my type of music or my idea of entertainment. I do like classical music which I will sometimes listen to when I'm at a loose end at home. I love musicals!

VinceSummers wrote on December 30, 2017, 10:04 AM

I hear you. Which is why I wrote this article. Most do not care to get involved with, or don't otherwise care about opera. Entire operas are (I speak frankly here) quite boring to me, undesirable. Yet some of the songs are immensely beautiful. Evocative, to say the least. Emotion arousing! People are more into stories these days. Formerly, during the middle part of the 20th century, character development was perhaps the most important part of a good movie. Then it became the plot, the action. Then, even sadder, it became computer-generated graphics. To make the blow a little easier, I suggest giving the more beautiful extracts from famous operas the surrounding stories, the libretti.

VinceSummers wrote on December 30, 2017, 10:14 AM

Another example: Vesti la Giubba from Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, sung by Placido Domingo - magnificent!

MegL wrote on December 30, 2017, 5:34 PM

I lovenessun dorma. There are some popular pieces I like but I would not watch a whole opera, not my kind of music.

lookatdesktop wrote on January 1, 2018, 6:04 PM

I began listening to Caruso the Italian Tenor and it was pretty good to listen to when I was only about age 6. Here is a very scratchy version of this same song I listened to as a very young boy. Enrico Caruso - Celeste Aida

lookatdesktop wrote on January 1, 2018, 6:08 PM

I found a YouTube of something you might all enjoy.

VinceSummers wrote on January 1, 2018, 7:43 PM

Live he would have been great. Have you ever listened to Mario Lanza?