4 thoughts on “guerilla opera”

  1. The pleasure this audience takes in this performance is in striking contrast to the small number of Americans that report going to performances in opera houses (if memory serves, it’s been hovering around 5% for a few decades). In conversations with arts administrators, I’ve been frustrated by their unwillingness to consider new modes of engaging audiences (except the odd addition of live opera beamed into movie theaters). The video should not be confused with evidence that (more) people would pay to see performances, but it does suggest there are inventive ways to weave it into the lifestyles most of us live.


  2. Well I accidentally deleted an earlier comment. So trying again. I go to opera because my husband loves it. I like some of it better than others. The rule is I get credit for being a good sport and going, whether or not I can really appreciate it. Forty years ago it was a very inaccessible art form to the uninitiated. It is very hard (if you are not already an opera lover) to sit through a show when you cannot understand what is going on. Subtitles help a lot, and so does the trend towards more theatrical performances in which the acting helps to carry the show for those not intrinsically carried away by the music. It helps to have multiple points of access.

    Live opera is very expensive, and that almost necessarily restricts its appeal. But there is also a huge element of cultural signification about opera, just as there is about rap and hip hop, or country western, or the various sub-genres of rock. I know many people who dislike opera kind of on principle, without ever really listening to any opera at all, presumably because of its cultural associations. As I know people who dislike other genres on principle.

    Um I assume this kind of stuff is old hat to you cultural sociology types.


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