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Thread: I seem to be operaphobic?

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    Member Azathoth's Avatar
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    Default I seem to be operaphobic?

    I've been trying to expand my musical tastes lately, and I figured I might as well move in to opera. Thing is, I don't seem to get it in the way other people do.

    I've seen two or three operas in my life, and have an obsessed friend who sent me some tracks, but I don't get it. It's not that I don't appreciate choral music (Messiah rocks my world) but opera just doesn't work for me. I end up with that really stereotypical teenager reaction of, "Okay, fat people in a stupid story singing really loud. Great."

    I saw The Magic Flute, Madam Butterfly and one other thing. Don't really remember because I wasn't really paying much attention...actually, I kinda fell asleep. =/

    I appreciate that it's compositionally solid and kinda pretty at times, but I'm seeing myself falling in to that ever-so-tempting trap of thinking everything I don't like is stupid. I always bristle when my agemates describe my music collection as 'boring old guys with stupid violins,' and would like to stay out of that.

    So how do I learn to appreciate opera? Stupid, vague question but I can't think of better wording.
    Weep not for little Leonie,
    Abducted by a French marquis!
    Though loss of honor was a wrench
    Just think how it's improved her French.

  2. #2
    Daffodylls
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    I think you have never heard somebody (a friend, for example) singing opera. You would have shivered, and loved it instantly.

    You should go to the opera house.

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    Member Azathoth's Avatar
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    What I'm saying is that I have heard opera, and I've heard opera singers -as in, The Met's opera singers- plying their trade and I still don't get it.
    Weep not for little Leonie,
    Abducted by a French marquis!
    Though loss of honor was a wrench
    Just think how it's improved her French.

  4. #4
    Daffodylls
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    at the opera house?

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    Member Azathoth's Avatar
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    Yes, I went to the Met and heard their singers performing The Magic Flute, Madam Butterfly and some other thing that I kinda sorta slept through and don't remember.
    Weep not for little Leonie,
    Abducted by a French marquis!
    Though loss of honor was a wrench
    Just think how it's improved her French.

  6. #6
    Daffodylls
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    Sorry, I can't do anything for you.

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    Firstly, you can't expect all music to appeal to you. If you happen not to like operatic singing or musical theatre then opera isn't for you.....at this stage. Keep an open mind, though. If you're adventuring into territory unknown to you so far, some operatic piece may click suddenly.

    I didn't get it at the outset so I know what you mean! I'm a lot happier with it now.

    EF

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    Member Azathoth's Avatar
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    Have any recommendations then?

    I'm not really in to things that would be described as 'epic', if you get what I'm saying.

    For a stylistic example of what I'm not in to, whoever wrote the musical version of Also Spracht Zarathustra isn't to my taste. I think it was Strauss and I haven't heard that much of him, but that kind of thing. Wagner also has some of that aspect.
    Weep not for little Leonie,
    Abducted by a French marquis!
    Though loss of honor was a wrench
    Just think how it's improved her French.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    It took me quite some time to like opera. I don't really remember how it happened... I remember liking operettas first because they're light and the tunes are rather catchy.

    It took me a while to learn to appreciate Mozart too. When I did, I began to love his operas too. I really don't know what to suggest; maybe it will come progressively, with time.

    P.S. You love Messiah? (so do I!) Oratorios are just like opera without the whole acting, after all. Maybe you could try some baroque operas?

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    Senior Member zlya's Avatar
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    Crap, I was just going to suggest some Strauss.

    I think perhaps you need more exciting operas. Try Puccini's Tosca. There's seduction, murder, political intrigue, torture, and suicide, and all the death is quick (none of that long, drawn out two-hour dying of consumption). I defy anyone to call Tosca boring old men with violins.

    On the other hand, if you're looking for choral music, Verdi is the master of the opera chorus. Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore immediately springs to mind. You may have heard it before, it's pretty famous in commercials and such.

    Also, have you tried Carmen? I know it's overplayed, but it's famous for a reason. Very exciting, dead sexy.

    Moreover, you might look into the wonderful world of opera dvds. Not only can you actually see the subtitles (and so understand what's going on), you can fast-forward over the boring bits (ok, the bits YOU find boring, which others may think of as musical gems).
    marinasabina likes this.

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    Member cato's Avatar
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    Don't worry about what your friends think, just go for what music YOU enjoy, to hell with anyone else, because they don't have your ears.

    I can relate to what you say though, I was into classical music for many, many years, before I ever got into opera. And as far as loving opera, I have to say that I don't love ALL OPERAS. I tend not to like the German operas, yet I love Russian operas, and of course Pucinni. (Tosca, La Boheme, etc.)

    I would suggest listening to a wide range of operas to find out what you like.

    A Russian opera by Shostakovich writen in the 1930's, will sound very, very different then an Italian opera writen by Handel in the 1730's.

    So try them all, and see what rings your bell.
    Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio.
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    Apropos operas being *sexy*,

    If you ever get a chance to hear the original score of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk aka *Katerina Ismailova* by Shostakovich then you would get to know how, ahem, raunchy an opera can get without becoming *x-rated*

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    Senior Member Saturnus's Avatar
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    Try Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, Britten's Peter Grimes or Shostakovich's Lady Machbeth. I was a bit like you; I didn't get it, and I still don't get the classical and romantic operas. But the 20th Century operas (including Puccini) are heavy-duty dramas that get straight to the point and are nothing but great.

  14. #14
    Notserp89m
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    Okay i know this is an old topic but i saw the title and thought i might as well have written it. I have listened to classical all my life and have always disliked opera, like it almost upsets me. The voices in opera with soooo much vibrato really bother me. Its hard for me even to listen to the last movement of Beethoven’s 9th unless its the choir all together. And its not just works for voice, i love choir works. Mozart’s Requiem is possibly the most moving music ive ever listened to.

    Now to my major question, is there any hope for me if after more than 10 years of listening i still dislike opera to the point of disgust? This is not to say i dislike the music, i just hate the operatic voice, i find no beuty in it. But the problem is, i hear Wagner opera music without the singing and love it. I want to love the whole thing not the half of it, but its like i can’t.

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    If you still abhor opera after 10 years, I suppose there is no hope... What a shame! I didn't like opera either at first, it took me 1-2 years to really get into it. Now I mostly listen to solo vocal works and opera!

    How does someone hate "operatic" voice or find no beauty in it? You prefer pop-style singing? Then watch musicals.

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