Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
Like many CM enthusiasts, I did not like opera (actually, classical singing in general) when I first started listening simply because I wasn't used to the style of singing.
I think this is an important factor since several decades. Almost everyone in the western world has grown up with "microphone crooning" since the 1950s or so.
As for the question in the title, I do not think that most lovers of classical music do not like opera. There is, however, some sorting into opera lovers who love opera much more than most other music (and they tend to congregate in separate fora or subfora) and those who prefer non-operatic classical music. But I think the subgroup who doesn't like opera at all is rather small.

I can't get into most bel canto, verismo, and Baroque opera (with some exceptions) because not only is the music often repetitive, I find the plots to be contrived. I tried listening to Tales of Hoffmann the other day and just couldn't get past the ridiculous stuff I had to accept in order to enjoy it.
To be fair, Les contes d'Hoffmann does not belong to any of the three categories you mentioned before ;) and it is almost post-modern besides maybe also ridiculous.
I like opera but I don't like it so much on recordings and I am too lazy/too poor to attend it frequently in the theatre, so I don't listen a lot to opera in the last years. And there are lots of operas I don't much care for and some opera fans (especially those obsessed with singers) are a bit ridiculous, so I would also understand people not being keen on some typical online opera discussions, despite liking the art form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
There are lots of reasons not to like opera:
1. It is expensive and snobby
2. It all turns around a star system (this is my biggest beef with opera, I hate the star system.)
Both of this applies to a lot of music and to most non-operatic classical music, insofar it applies at all. (It's doubtful to which extent it applies to the provincial/small operas all over Germany and Austria which is usually cheaper than popular music star concerts or modern musicals). And we know that opera is ridiculous since the Marx brothers and similar jokes but it apparently didn't hurt that much until the late 20th century.

3. It is vocal, and people react strongly to voice - I think voices and violins are the two most divisive things in classical music
Yes. This should work both ways because many people who have grown up with popular music are also puzzled by purely instrumental music but as I wrote above, we have now almost 3 generations who think that crooning into a microphone is "natural singing" and therefore can have problems with classical singing styles/voices.

4. It is theatrical, and the setting can be a problem. I've seen Fidelio on stilts, gay S&M porn in the auto da fe scene in Don Carlos, Siegfried and Gunther sharing a needle, the Drum Major sodomising Marie in front of her child (Wozzek), and others which I prefer to forget
This can be a problem but I think these are aspects of final decadence that came only after an earlier decline of opera. (Opera clearly has been declining for about 100 years but that's similar with the rest of classical music so it also should not be the main point.) Again, some people apparently think they can draw a new or different audience this way but that's doubtful as it is largely an in-crowd who appreciate such stagings (predictably "provocative"/controversial" but not for that crowd).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
Wagner is a bit of an extreme case. But if you are single or a young childless couple or an elderly couple, it doesn't matter so much if on Friday or Saturday night you go to the movies, clubbing or to the opera. Opera does not necessarily take up more time. IF and only if you have the opera in your city or in a similar distance you would also drive/travel for cinema or other entertainment. Even with a family this can work with a babysitter. This is the way it used to me in many European cities, even some middle-sized towns. Of course, this changes, if opera necessitates an expensive weekend trip because it is too far away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
I was wondering about the same thing: Siegfried Idyll and bleeding chunks? And this is enough for a favorite?

I am pretty sure I would be much more into opera if I lived in a city like Vienna or Berlin (or even half as good as the opera options are concerned). I did attend opera more often in the past when I had more opportunities but I never had the great opera options of some European large cities. I collected most of the famous operas (and more) on my shelves but I only rarely feel like listening to it nowadays.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top