A Passion for Opera!

The Future of Opera

I am concerned about the future of Opera. Over the years, my mission in teaching “opera appreciation” has become more defined and urgent. We need more opera goers who understand and love this magnificent art form and are dedicated to the composers who poured their lives into their works and the singers who give so much of themselves and their voices to interpretation.

More and more in this country and especially in Europe, the composers of the great classical operas and the great singers who interpret the roles, are being displaced by directors, producers, and conductors, who while important contributors, are in reality more dedicated to self-aggrandizement through their own creative and egotistical corruptions of classic works of art. While box office may be temporarily enhanced by a coloratura soprano straddling a Howitzer while singing Casta Diva to Nazi troops, such abuses in no way enhance or contribute to any new understanding or enjoyment of Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece, Norma.

Opera will survive these dalliances of egos and economic bottom liners and thrive once again. It will only happen, however, when a more dedicated, passionate and educated audience, who pays first to hear then to see, returns. At that point opera will regain the luster and excitement that has thrilled audiences for hundreds of years.

Is there no place, then, for invention and creativity in Opera? One may hear La Boheme 25 times in a lifetime, but it cannot be boring to an opera lover as long as the composer’s intent is fully realized and glorious vocal interpreters are allowed to sing the words of a simple 19th century seamstress and her romantic poet.

There has always been invention and creativity in Opera. Opera is a living art form. Invention and creativity happen every time a great singer steps onto the stage, and unencumbered by absurdity, is allowed to sing with all the nuance, color and magic that the composer has written.