Monday, 21 April 2014

Have You Ever Been To The Opera?

Have you ever been to the opera?  Years ago you may have thought that it was only for those who had 'highbrow' interests, whatever they are, and some may have thought it was elitist but today opera has become more accessible than ever.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

It can feel like a real occasion going to the opera

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to win a meal for Valentines day at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff. We were serenaded by singers from the Welsh National Opera. It made for a lovely and memorable meal, and since then the idea of going to the opera has appealed to me more than ever.

It can be exciting but perhaps a tiny bit nerve wracking going for the first time. You may be concerned about what to wear for example. Years ago the dress code used to be formal but today a simple smart dress code will suffice. Wear what you would wear out for a nice meal is my advice, the only time you would need to wear an evening gown would be at a world premier of a new opera.

The cost of the opera can be a concern for some, however many places may have last minute tickets at a discounted rate especially on the day. It's always worth asking. When you think of the price of some theatre tickets the opera doesn't seem so expensive after all.

Image courtesy of Apple's Eyes Studio /

A perfect night out 

If you are new to the opera, some of the 'lighter' ones are a good place to start. For example Carmen by Bizet. Carmen tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the fiery Gypsy, Carmen. The plot is dramatic and is full of seduction desire and death. 

Another great opera for those new to the this form of entertainment is the Barber of Seville by Rossini. This light hearted opera has a sense of fun and playfulness. It is also shorter than most, at only two acts. It tells the story of Count Almaviva and Rosina and how their path to marriage is plagued with difficulties due to Rosina's guardian, Bartolo's interference.

Cosi Fan Tutte is another great opera and one of Mozart's comic masterpieces. Two men are persuaded by a friend to test the virtue of their fiancees by disguising themselves and attempting to seduce the others girlfriend.  Love, and lust entangle the couples in a game of deceit, when the deceit is unmasked, can they really go back to their lives before? 

The English National Opera currently have a production of Cosi Fan Tutte that looks interesting. You can find out about it here - Cosi Fan Tutte ENO production. The English National Opera have a world class reputation for highly original and theatrical shows. They are also committed to creating new audiences by making their shows accessible and affordable to everyone. Perfect for newcomers to the opera scene. They are also proud to provide opportunities  for British conductors, directors, designers and singers, supporting local talent wherever possible.  

Have you ever been to the opera? Would you consider going if you have not? Does Cosi Fan Tutte or one of the other operas I have mentioned appeal? 

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  1. I haven't but always wanted :) Might be a good time to ask my OH to take me out!

  2. I would love to visit the Opera.....I have seen performances of Carmen on tv and loved it....I've never heard of Cosi Fan Tutte though :) x

  3. Cosi fan tutti was the first opera I ever saw - over 30 years ago at ENO. It was the 'Jane Austen' production with all the cast wearing georgian costume and was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. And I thought I wouldn't like opera;)

    1. That sounds amazing, I am so jealous. I have to go and see this new production :)

  4. The idea of Opera bores me to tears, but I endevour never to pass judgement on anything before actually trying it myself so will suspend judgement till I hear the fat lady sing ;-)

    1. I think that is a good idea, you may be pleasantly surprised Vicky.

  5. Going to the opera is something I've always wanted to do.

    1. Maybe you will get the chance to go one day Kirsty.


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