Experts Answer Important Question: Why Is Opera Important?

Gerard Barry's Importance of Being Earnest, NI Opera's 2013 production. Photograph: NIOpera/Northern Ireland Opera

Gerard Barry’s Importance of Being Earnest, NI Opera’s 2013 production. Photograph: NIOpera/Northern Ireland Opera

While nearly everyone in the live entertainment industry likely has an answer to this question, we enjoyed reading the responses from the collection of opera experts The Guardian rounded up. You can read the full article here, but we’ve included a few favorite quotes below:

 “The combination of dramatic narrative, stagecraft and music, and especially the range and vulnerability of the human voice, make opera the art form that comes closest to expressing pure emotion.” — Richard Mantle, general director, Opera North

“When I meet people who say they don’t like opera, it turns out nine out of 10 haven’t ever actually seen one.” — Kasper Holten, director of opera, Royal Opera House

“At its worst, opera can be alienating, boring and irrelevant. But when everything works, can there be anything more captivating or more thrilling?” — Oliver Mears, artistic director, Northern Ireland Opera

“A first-timer is by definition innocent of prejudice. It is people who think they know about opera who are sometimes affected by prejudice.” — David Pountney, artistic director, Welsh National Opera

“It challenges you to engage but, as with all the good things in life, the more you immerse yourself the more rewarding it is. It can feel hard to get started on that journey, and that’s why it’s important that we who make opera take every opportunity to reduce barriers, demythologise, and demystify what it’s all about. We’re under no illusion that everyone will love it as we do, but we want everyone to feel welcome to come and try it.” — Alex Reedijk, general director, Scottish Opera

 

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