Opera as Sushi
An article about performing-Arts and music-related topic
By Ralph Schatzki
Opera. Just the word itself conjures up images of overweight people in horned helmets, singing at the top of their lungs in a language no one understands. To top it off, people dress up in their finest clothing to attend, pay exorbitant prices for non-refundable tickets and look down their noses at everyone else!
Remember when you were a child and your mom put some strange looking plate of food in front of you and said, "Just try it- you might like it." Sometimes you did and sometimes you didn't, but at least you tried. Occasionally, too, something that you disliked initially became something to cherish: it "grew" on you. For example, some people don't like sushi at all while others find it irresistible. Still others have developed a taste for it over time.
In this way, opera is a lot like food. Sure, opera's not for everyone, and a lot of people know at least enough about it to realize they want nothing to do with it, but just because your best friend doesn't like something doesn't mean you won't, either. Like any matter of taste, we each have to make up our own mind about it, and we can only do that by trying
I've known a lot of people who swore they would never eat raw fish and are now true sushi lovers. It is the same with opera, as well. Many, who had earlier expressed their disdain for it, saw an opera and fell in love at first sight. Others developed their appreciation over time. You might be one of the former- "try it, you'll like it"- or one of the latter, who takes great pride in having accomplished something worthwhile (remember: we take the most pride in those things we work hard for).
Opera is not simple: it is the common effort of so many accomplished artists toward a single goal. This is why it is so difficult, and also why it is so rewarding. You may not like it at all, and that's your prerogative, but you owe it to yourself to try it, at least once.
But who knows? You may be one of those who really likes the flavor. You'll never know until you make the effort.
So, have a bite. It's what your mom would say.
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