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If you think opera is boring, maybe you don't know what you're talking about


May 29, 2015

This online project invites us to find out more about opera to better appreciate it in all its characteristics.

For several reasons opera is known as an exquisite spectacle. In its origins it was a spectacle for the privileged classes, those who could appreciate both its theatrical and musical characteristics. However, over time it has opened up to a wider audience, perhaps not with the anticipated success, but at least that has been the intention and the trend. Verdi and Wagner, for example, shared the desire from their notions of nationalism to make some of their operas vehicles for the great social movements of their time. In the same way, in the 20th century, with the construction of theaters for huge audiences, opera is not the exception in the trend of bringing culture to the masses.

Nowadays, some of the changes that opera has seen obey the desire to bring it to the largest audience possible. The popular recitals of The Three Tenors, for example, achieved this: creating a point of encounter or even a point of opening between two kinds of fans that are apparently different, those of football and opera, which, in the case of José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, was already interconnected and, due to their charisma, was able to be transmitted to a mass audience. And visually, opera has flirted with fun stage sets for contemporary audiences, such as productions of La Traviata in 2005 at the Salzburg Festival, The Marriage of Figaro at the same festival in 2007 and recent productions at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

A parallel effort is that which takes advantage of the Internet’s capacity for the spread of knowledge of this genre, especially with the necessary appreciation to understand it and therefore enjoy it even more. One such initiative is The Opera Platform, an ambitious project that presents operas subtitled in six languages, documentaries, historical material and supplementary information to better appreciate the many aspects of this spectacle.

However, none of this is any use if we conserve the prejudice that opera is boring and outdated. But if we give it a chance it is very likely we will discover a rich, stimulating and even inexhaustible territory.

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