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What do you think is the main reason why contemporary kids do not like / understand opera?

Speaking of music, my generation has a strong tendency to go mainstream and identify themselves with modern music, that unfortunately seems to be from assembly line production -- all the same with no soul and no real massage to demonstrate.
When I mention opera as a beautiful music genre and an interesting way of expressing your thoughts through music, the majority doesnt get it. They probably think it is too "old school" or too boring to have an actual contribution to their lives, or they assume it is a part of the "high-society" life, that not all of them can and want to live.
Can you think of any ways to make opera more attractive and open to all of us? Do you think opera should somehow evolve and adapt to the requirements of the market, or that it should stay classical and traditional?

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    Oct 17 2011: well...choice of music is like making friends i.e it is a personal thing that doesn't really need any rationalization. but, like popular kids have more friends, so does popular music have more listners.Essentially, you judge a music by the impact it has on the people. It sounds crude, but it is all that matters for better or for worse.
    as for message is concerned, most of the operas are pedestrian (for info, i am a classical pianist, so i do know what i am talking abt). Each genre is a reflection of the culture in which it took birth. In the absence of that culture, we can only relive it by educating and discipline of music. if you really wanna sell it, get a celebrity to tweet abt it....if opera has to be mainstream, all things concurrent to it has to be mainstream. that's why shakespeare and the like are not cool.
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    Oct 10 2011: my take:

    enjoying music is not given. it needs learning. it all boils down to musical memory and pattern recognition. you can enjoy a piece of music if it fits in your musical memory, and you can identify the structure of it, or more precisely, understand more of the intricate network of patterns. without learning, you can only "understand" pop and rock. you can pick up emotions in the tone of instruments, the lyrics, and a few, say 4-6 consecutive notes. that's why most pop songs are repetitive and simple.

    musical understanding comes with practice. to actually pick up the "message" in an opera, you need to comprehend structures of 10-15 notes or even more, in multiple voices. for an unexperienced listener, these notes just come after one another in a somewhat arbitrary order. it puts a burden on the brain. it is more stressful than enjoyable.

    i run into a test some years ago that checked musical memory and pattern recognition. i'm an opera lover, but otherwise, a complete outsider, i don't play any instruments, i lack any formal musical training. my score was 95%. i asked a rock-fan friend of mine, and her result was 50%. those who played any instruments, reported 100% and complained about the test being too easy.
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        Oct 11 2011: no, but it was written below it :) i'm not attending our opera house, because they rarely feature baroque operas, and even if they do, not what i like. plus i don't trust their level of performance.

        if you want something good, i recommend the harnoncourt version of the monteverdi operas.
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      Oct 11 2011: Well said.
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    Oct 8 2011: To change Opera to suit a market would be to turn it into the exact thing you dislike about 'pop' music.

    Pandering to a market is an unfortunate side-effect of consumerism. It ends up watering the original down to a soulless sameness.
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    Oct 15 2011: @katarina :) your welcome ma'am :)
    happy to have this conversation :)
  • Oct 14 2011: I think part of it is lack of access. I don't mean just recordings, mp3's, or what have you - I mean the full experience. I've studied music, and listening to a recording of an opera is only a fragment of the effect of watching and listening to it in theatre. Operas are expensive productions to create and show, often reflected in the pricing. I took my older sister to see The Last Empress at the Hummingbird in Toronto many years ago, and it was about $70 a ticket for mediocre seats. That doesn't seem like much when you're an established adult, but I was a teenager working two part-time jobs and saving for university. Couple that with most being in a romantic language (Italian, French, etc.) that many youth do not understand fluently and a time period that is hard for them to relate to. Why would a teenager want to spend $70 for a night of that? She or he would rather spend that money going out with friends.

    Today, I think contemporary music concerts ARE the modern operas. They're elaborate shows that address topics that resonate with today's youth, in a context and language that they can understand. I'm not saying that classical opera should just be forgotten, but it does need to take those things into account. A lot of today's musicals and plays are based on older stories, but are re-written with account for today's society. Romeo and Juliet became West Side Story. Madama Butterfly became Miss Saigon (and was referenced in Weezer's Pinkerton album). Othello became O. I think that linking these modern takes back to their original operas and plays will help garner an interest in traditional opera.
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    Oct 13 2011: i wonder how many people would like this
    • Oct 13 2011: :O no way, I am listening to Philip Glass just now :D
      I love his music ... he makes soundtracks that might not be so epic in their grandness, but they are pretty intimate and evoke a very strong feeling (of fear and dejection usually- appealing on the Secret Window Movie music). He is the master of harmony and beautiful musical minimalism.

      The vid you just sent is indeed interesting. Again a proof that he can make a something out of nothing :)
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      Oct 15 2011: Kristian...thank you...this is one of the most importants works from Glass. Extremly important and beautifull.
    • Oct 18 2011: wow thanks for sharing
    • Oct 20 2011: It is very easy to listen to and, therefore, like: harmonious, melodious, repetitive. It is people like Schoenberg who are very difficult to listen to, understand or like. And intellectual snobs ridiculed young people coming to music for preferring the old classical composers of melody and harmony and not understanding Schoenberg and his ilk. As a result they turned to stuff that's fun the listen to, like the Beatles,
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        Oct 20 2011: i can assure you, i've never ever heard this name. in public schools, at least around here, modern music is completely missing. and people listen to pop, rock, hiphop and simple techno, all of them are melodic-repetitive. this alleged force-fed modernism is nonexistent.
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    Oct 12 2011: Katarina is the same thing with the old people. Why we have to hear that screaming sounds that flood from everywhere? Why we have to be in a overdose of exposure to noisy enviroment. The tirany of the noise is unavoidable...not ll the music is for all the people. Hav you heard:

    this is the real evidence that remains some worthy.
    • Oct 13 2011: Yes, I have seen that video, and I was positively stupefied. :)

      I sing opera myself, though I was never lead to it through my family or environment around me ... I just started attending vocal lessons when I was 6, and as I grew older, the music I performed became more challenging and complex, as finally I reached opera. That was just where I realized the immense strenght and uniqueness of it, and started spreading it around me. Opera is a high music genre indeed.

      Now, just as these guys in the video, there are more groups that bring opera back to life and make it perhaps more attractive to the younger audience, and I am really pleased seeing that :)
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    Oct 11 2011: I'm a fan, but I hate opera houses. I don't think there's anything better than wearing headphones in your couch, reading the lyrics on the booklet as you listen.
    I don't need the smell of perfume and people caughing their lungs out as I concentrate not to mind the crappy seat I'm uncomfortable in. It distracts the living sh... out of me.
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    Oct 11 2011: That is one good question!
    I think the main reason is that we (I still don't consider myself an adult) do not understand the fine arts, like opera. We have not been taught music and understanding of it like we have of many other arts, like literature. E.g. the first time you hear Shakespeare you're mostly dumbstruck because it is hard to comprehend, but then your teacher takes you on a trip into Shakespeare's world and suddenly it all opens up. I hope the issue is the same for opera: the first time we hear it, we don't get it. We need some sort of education or guiding in it to really appreciate it, and I for one have not been given that, yet.
    It's such a shame that the kids today are not offered the same education in arts like music as we are in literature. I believe we are missing a great part of the world here and who knows how many kids out there are bored to death with Jane Austen, but would find analyzing an opera by Wagner the most exciting thing in the whole world if they were just once introduced to it properly?
    For your suggestion about whether operas should adjust, I would say that all genres of art adjust in some way to the contemporary society, but rarely to become popular. I would say that art for art's sake is the right way to think here and that any art, that be music or painting, should be confident that it will always find its followers.
    Lastly, I think you are brave to discuss opera with your friends! As you might be able to tell, I'm more into literature, but my friends look at me in a "freak"-sort of way every time I start debating it. That is likely another issue that keeps kids away from operas: it can be socially dangerous to be different in this way. There is an unwritten code that says "keep away from this and that" and unfortunately opera is on that list of don'ts. I would like to hear from someone in here: How do we get rid of that list of things not to like that we all know kids follow?
    Thanks to all who read this!
    Regards, Morten
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    Oct 11 2011: I don't like Opera because A) I cant understand what their saying, B)I feel like I'm being yelled at, and C) It all sounds similar, it doesn't really alter in sound
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      Oct 11 2011: and it never occurred to you that maybe you just don't notice the nuances. i'm not sure if you are cute in your honesty or just arrogant.
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        Oct 13 2011: I was worried someone would say this. I'm not trying to be arrogant in any way, I think it was just the way I worded it that it could appear that way...sorry about that.
    • Oct 11 2011: Okay, I get what you are saying...
      So what kind of music do you like? What genre do you think best describes you? Through what do you seek relax, understanding and beauty?
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        Oct 13 2011: I personally like techno, there is something so emotional about the usually instrumental music. Not many kids my age like it all honesty im one of pretty much 6 kids in my school who do listen to it. And I almost always get chills of satisfaction at at least 1 part in the song.
        • Oct 13 2011: Yes, techno can be very energizing sometimes. I love instrumental music as well...usually purely instrumental soundtracks from various movies, because they have a unique energy in them. I like music which paints pictures in my mind, which brings taste into my mouth and soothes me or gives me chills- just like you said. Music should behave like a living organism-- thats how I judge whether it is good or not.
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        Oct 14 2011: Same here, you should try listening to a cd by the name of Chorus of Tribes by Myth. It's worldly but its still techno like. At first it was weird but i've really come to like it
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        Oct 16 2011: my pleasure
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    Oct 9 2011: The main reason is lack of exposure. The second is lack of access due to price. The most wonderful thing to happen in the last few years is that you can watch operas livecast from the New York Met at movie theatres for special matinees. The cost is far less than a ticket at the Met, it is subtitled so that the uninitiated (like I was) can follow the action and there are in depth interviews during the long Met intermissions.

    I now feel that I am a lot more knowledgeable about opera and I even have my own favourites. Not surprisingly though, I am usually the youngest person in the audience!
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    Oct 8 2011: Art culture in film has developed a retarded system of melodrama. You always know who the good and bad guys are, and that alone takes away from analytically thinking about the play and what's going on.

    All art should evolve, and the fact it has evolved into "dubstep" and "pop-lyrics" with no extreme thought behind the notes or lyrics, challenges lost.

    I agree, art today is developing terribly in the mainstream, it is because the people who actually buy CD's are mainly teenagers. There is an old joke I heard "What is the difference between Yogurt and America?... If you leave Yogurt alone long enough it will develop a culture." lol loved it.

    Anyways, music is being controlled by children because they will spend money on things they can get for free online. Thus another conundrum. How can the talented bands/artist be popular if their fans do not support their sales? - Insert some argument about record companies raping their signed artists sales -

    Moving on...

    This problem is HUGE. It can get into the academic education problem. The media problem. The lack of challenging entertainment, in general, problem.

    I love opera, but it is not with the times. Today, commonly, people get mad their ten minute cheeseburger is taking fifteen minutes... That the rain is ruining their day... That the president is incompetent... Blaming shit on others and not themselves. A lack of ability to handle criticism. A lack of "depth" in general...

    Opera will revive one day. Ever watch the "fifth element"? Just needs a change up, an addition, some jazz. Sci-fi movies a few decades ago were depicting computer beats as music, oh snap techno! Artist looking the world artistically will change art, as long as language and cultures are unique.
    • Oct 8 2011: Problem; Bob's statement holds ground against this sort of argument. Children aren't being introduced to a REAL variety of music and art(the art in question being opera); thus, they grow older with a preconceived and compartmentalized(even complacent) view of art as teens. It shouldn't be the art that has to change for people to accept it; it should be the responsibility of others to conceive a valid interpretation of an art style.

      Basically, if one doesn't like a certain style of art, it isn't the art's fault.

      This next statement is a blunt insertion of my own bias; if an art is popular, it should be so due to the sincerity of its artistry, overall technique, and vision over milquetoast and cliche ideals and/or the insertion of different forms simply to 'make a difference'.
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        Oct 9 2011: Who's fault is it they do not get a variety? Parents? A child's environment?

        A culture is one that shares environments and ideas to develop communication between patrons.

        The America culture is developing like a fourteen year old in my opinion. I mean a cellphone today thrown back in time would be a tool of Godliness, today it is used to stay in touch with friends.

        The best tragedies in history involve a sort of destruction for a confused perspective on things... Well, if kids do not realize that they play with more advanced equipment than what it took to land on the moon... what does that say about developing culture(s)?

        Art has no intrinsic patterns, like Aristotle would love to believe, but it can have "depth" to it, or something like depth.

        Superficialities is the norm of today, so since I cannot blame "art". I blame the producers, the artist, the parents, and overall culture. Children can't know the history of things, the variety of today's things, and the next interest without help. This help indirectly comes from some older source. Friends who teach friends learned it from somewhere that existed prior to them, they are not geniuses off the bat.

        I consider this vicious cycle of no greater thinking to be in play for the past 60+ years in the states. Music, any art for that matter, should be where exploring comes from, and it does! But if your music, your preferences (any of them) - TELL YOU what to love, hate, think about, etc. It will change your thinking.

        A parent that does not think out of the box will not produce a future parent that does.

        The reality is, inside the box thinking gets you laid, and that's number one priority for our youth.

        "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead."
        - Huxley

        A dead culture? Already? So, chill?
  • Oct 20 2011: I'll send you a plate. I was one of the masses who, as a teenager in the mid-20th century was sneered at for my plebian taste for Verdi and other melody-rich and harmonious music.

    For the same scenario in architecture read "From Bauhaus to Our House" by Tom Wolfe.

    For the same scenario in literature, I speak from personal experience as an editor and project manager for an international publisher.
  • Oct 20 2011: Opera (and other forms of classical music) was crushed from two sides: (a) the snobbery associated with it and (b) avant garde composers who shoved undigestible rubbish down their long-suffering audiences' throats and ridiculed anyone who loved the "easy-listening" music with traditional harmony and melody.

    There must always be room for experiment in art and new forms that may at first be inaccessible. But unfortunately, because the atonal classical music from the midddle of the last century was so inaccessible, it gave a lot of room for talentless con artists to jump on the band waggon and pretend that what they produced was art and alienated and ridiculed anyone who did not appreciate it. So anyone who listened to Verdi was considered a low-brow idiot and driven from the theatre by ridicule. So an entire generation since then did not bring up their children to love opera as their forefathers had.

    Architecture suffered much the same fate, as did poetry and reading. Kids are still being brought up that they should only read "good books" under which is understood, anything that is not enjoyable. Based on the mindless philosophy that if food tastes bad it must be good for you, like spinach, and you should avoid any food that tastes good. So, if it is a boring read, it is a good book. So "good mothers" forbid their chidlren to read thrillers or romances and they end up reading nothing at all, ever. That is what happened to opera.

    Therefore, if you want audiences, respect them. The avant garde did not respect their audiences.
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      Oct 20 2011: if avant garde had any profound effect on masses, i'm going to eat my top hat in public with a fork and knife.
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    Oct 19 2011: Opera is seen as inaccessible. Popular music, i.e. that which the vast majority of any population, historically the underclass, has always been accessible. Kids these days (as well as most music fans) want music they can relate to. They can't relate to something that they can't afford to get into to see. The sadness is that the emotions that are expressed through operatic pieces, in a grandiose way, are all the emotions that each of us feels to some degree one way or another. The themes in opera are the themes in life.

    Speaking from personal experience, I didn't like opera until my dad introduced me to the Who's Tommy (a ROCK Opera), which I know is not "true" opera, but it did lead me to appreciate opera as artistic expression (especially La Boheme - wow! I still remember crying when I got a chance to see that!)

    I don't think opera has to change to make itself more appealing for the kids - I think culturally we have to shift. Kids have access to ALL kinds of music - they have to reach out and explore beyond the banal and the repetitious. But it would help if WE as a society would stop looking at opera as something for the elderly rich elite and demand that ticket prices become more affordable and if we would start going to opera ourselves in droves, and take our kids at a very young age the same way we take them to amusement parks or county fairs. THAT would be a way to engender an appreciation and expose them to this beautiful form.

    And of course, play Tommy in the car while driving them to school every day!
  • Oct 19 2011: I am a music teacher. The answer is much simpler than you think.

    Kids like things that catch their attention. A loud, fast drum beat and a loud guitar is exciting to a child and catches their attention. Singing classical music (softer and smoother and therefore less exciting than rock) for TWO HOURS does not hold a child's attention, especially in another language (even in English, it is often hard to understand what is being said). There are more factors, but this is a HUGE reason.

    Also, kids don't understand what is going on in opera. If they understood the story and knew what was going on at each moment (not just the general plot), it would help them enjoy it more. But don't forget, pop songs are 2-3 minutes long, and an opera can last for hours. There will still be boredom for some kids even if they understand what is going on.
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    Oct 18 2011: There is a style of opera which has its roots in history and the music styles of historic periods. If you go back a few years, there was a period of using current music styles to tell stories in the same way as traditional opera - generally rock operas. Go back a bit before that and there was a period when film and stage musicals were extremely popular, Traditional opera used the popular style of its time to tell stories, and in concept that's no different from musicals.

    A whole opera is large and indigestible as an introduction to a style of music. Smaller samples are more likely to open someone's mind to a particular style, and use of a wide range of genres provides an opportunity for people to tune in to musical storytelling.

    As far aas the visual component is concerned, film and video often offer a more intensive experience than a stage production, with sophisticated use of music.

    There's a lot of musical experience out there which has the potential to lead youngsters to expand their listening horizons, and I think that sort of education has much more validity than trying to focus on one particular genre, with all the baggage of its traditional terminalogy.

    I'm not decrying opera when I say all this, but I think we should start to view it as part of a multidimensional spectrum of music if we want to break down barriers.
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      Oct 20 2011: I believe you have a valid point - to break it down essentially into more palatable "bite-sized bits" for the audience that will really enjoy that. For example, my daughter is doing a short report on Homer's Odyssey, and was having real difficulty with fomenting a coherent idea regarding basic ideas about the plot, but then she showed me a rap video on YouTube where a 4-minute Rap summed up the entire epic. It was very well done (especially for a DIY music video) and she really took on an appreciation for the story.

      Now if I could just encourage her to take that newfound enthusiasm and actually READ the epic for herself!

      But still, that ties into what you are saying - essentially, that the story is what is important. How it is told is a transmitting of the story: if a person can digest it fully through an opera, wonderful, and if some want to hear it in a million tweets throughout the day, either way can be expressive as an art form. A person who truly appreciates it and is enlightened by one medium will eventually find their way into the other media.

      Or am I way off base?
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        Oct 20 2011: The story itself is one way of getting kids involved. If that interests them then they may be prepared to listen to it being presented in an unfamiliar way. Size is another factor. An entire opera is large and indigestible as an introduction and something like your rap example may be a better way of getting a kid involved in the story.

        But there's a third factor and that's the style of music itself. I don't agree with the assumption that it is a worthy goal to get kids to like traditional opera for its musical content. The highly trained voice and elaborate score are not to everyone's taste and we should respect that. As kids mature, their tastes change and it's good to make a lot of different styles accessible to them but there isn't a 'right' type of music that they should grow to like.
  • Oct 18 2011: I think this question have not the main reason ,but have some reason , those reason should be different depend on different personal background culture background.we all know Shakespeare's opera and most of us read his florilegium from textbook, seen it from movie ,but due to different culture between our country and UK or europe, most of us still like our country's traditional drama. so my viewpoint is everyone have personal hobby ,we can not make different to like the same thing , we can only give some advice or traditional education to them ,once they have the intristing of opera , i think some of us will like opera.
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    Oct 18 2011: I wonder if there ever was a generation where opera was popular among kids and youth...

    Like everything: you can only like things if you are exposed to it first.
    Being exposed to different styles of culture is an important thing (in education)...

    Popularizing can be done, but then you might need huge marketing budgets. Promoting role models, broadcasting,...

    As for different interpretations of opera: both the classical and more contemporary approaches have their benefits.
    As with all things cultural (and musical): it gets mixed, rediscovered, revived, dormant,... but it almost never ceases to exist.
  • Oct 18 2011: Good art inspires in the way of the madeline in Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). It is a reminder of an idea or a blending of two or more remembrances. Just as each word of poetry brings its connotations which assemble into the meaning of each line, so music must evoke emotions through recognition of things perceived earlier. It can assemble them and juxtapose them to contrast ideas or it can simply bring back past emotions. All of this, though, requires those initial connections between the sound, the scene, and the feeling. Until you have that vocabulary, it has no meaning, it's just babble. This isn't just true of opera; it's true of rock, rap, barbershop, plainsong, and emo.

    Now maybe if the audience got to sing along and sway their arms like they do at a Taylor Swift concert. Ah, picture that.
  • Oct 17 2011: I think it really has to do with what you grew up with. Sort of like aquired taste, but aquired music. Me being a teenager its not that i don't like or understand opera, it's just that I am not surronded by it as much as I am surronded by rock or pop. (You don't see MTV or the radio randomly playing opera) Maybe in future generations, if opera does become a popular genre more teenagers would learn to appreciate it and understand it.
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    Oct 17 2011: I think we should not forget what Opera means: It is simply "a dramatic work in one or more acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists". It is not just about words and whether they are understood or not. Death Metal for instance is very hard to understand or make out the words... they are being shouted. I listen to all kinds of music and enjoy them all.

    Another thing to remember, which helps answer the question, is pointing out how classical music (in operas too), are actually the starting point for any good music. Techno that sounds good, that is melodic, is in fact following the "rules" that were set by the greatest composers of all time. Many artists, across genres, actually use bits and pieces of classical. This a funny yet educational video about classical in all musical genres:

    Just showing kids (or adults) that classical music, as well as opera, is at the core of most modern music, will at least start by gaining some respect.

    In terms of them liking it. I must agree, that it is a matter of personal taste. Some people like it, others don't.

    From the metal music scene, there are a lot of examples of bands integrating classical music to their style. Rhapsody of Fire in fact, write what they call Metal Operas. Metallica had a concert where they performed with a full classical orchestra playing with them.

    It's music. It's emotional. You don't have to necessarily understand it. But you have to feel it. And the more you keep an open mind, the better you feel it.
  • Oct 17 2011: Personally I do not like opera, I do find it boring.
    However, I would like to ask, why should opera become more attractive? I ask this question in two ways.
    (1) Why should it need to change from what it is to become more attractive to the mainstream.
    (2) What is it about opera that requires its preservation?

    P.S: I don't mean any disrespect with these questions.
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      Oct 17 2011: ah, these are easy questions

      1. no need
      2. nothing

      we don't need 17th century paintings, architecture or literature either. there is no need to preserve erasmus, bach or michelangelo. we don't need to. we just want to. because we love and admire these things.
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      Oct 17 2011: Easy questions indeed:

      1- I agree, no need at all.

      2- Opera itself is being preserved as a statement of great achievements. But classical music is the basis, the foundation of all modern music. No exceptions... understanding notes... how to place them... all of it... you preserve it, because the best artists in their respective genres, all.... understand music...
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    Oct 17 2011: We can handle more information faster, but don't process the information indepth. I think if children were educated more about classical music rather than just forced into it, they would enjoy it. Plus we should surround them with all genres of music at a young age. We must remember that music is a certain genre. I'm certain that kids in the 70's (although i can't speak on their behalf) weren't going bananas for classical music. Every generation +-time had their own genre they enjoyed that was mainstream. It's more important people listen to something they enjoy or understand rather then just listen to music because it's "culture".
    On a side note, I do enjoy Operas and Opera music, but I feel sometimes they go on just a little to long.
  • Oct 16 2011: I believe that contemporary kids are not trained enough musically. I am a teenager, and although I enjoy modern music, I also like opera. I think this is because I have been trained musically since about 4 years old. I think what happens to a person as a younger child effects their tastes currently. We should change to like opera, and opera should change to like us. We should meet somewhere in the middle.
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    Oct 16 2011: Katarina,
    Building up on a previous post about adjusting to the times not by changing opera, but by making it relevant to the youth, I want to share this.

    Looking for something else, I came across conductor Akira Miyagawa. He is not the traditional type, although he is a classical conductor. For adults and children alike he found his way to make that music attractive to many.
    On top of his regular engagements, he has (or had) a TV program very much like the Muppets. The program is organized like a quintet (this gives the name to the series, You Gotta Quintet). First, a formal theme song is played, then a puppet show is presented, next, an instructional transition (e.g. music cartoons), then a concert, and finally a closing piece related to the theme. This is a friendly way to attract the younger crowd and inspire them, maybe to even take up en instrument. Wait a minute, this is Japan, of course almost every child already plays an instrument!

    Here is a link:

    Anyway, I wonder if a similar approach including Opera would not help the very young in the West... Well in fact the Muppets have done it first, just not only focusing on Opera, but they touched on it... in their own way. Not sure if this will keep opera in its rightful place, though.
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    Oct 15 2011: Because it's boring? Because no one can't dance to it? Because it's seem as pompous and over the top? Because culture's don't respect older established venues? Because no one in their right mind would sing that way?

    Take your pick....
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    Oct 14 2011: If we want others to enjoy the music, we simply need to teach them how to enjoy it. It's like product marketing. If customers don't know how to consume our product or don't understand product's value, they will not buy the product. And it's not reasonable for the business to say that customers are irresponsible since they don't buy the product. With the same logics, if we want people to listen to opera, we need to educate them how to consume the music values.
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      Oct 17 2011: I am not sure you can teach anyone to enjoy something.Atleast for me it does not work that way and for children it would never.Customers or clients see profit but I don't think anyone can enjoy something for some profit.They might hear it for profit but not enjoy it for any profit.Enjoyment comes from within (soul) not outside.Profit comes from outside and only brain understands it not heart.
      if you are trying to impart that making them aware of something would help them connect to it much better.Yes it would help to some extent but not really necessary that they still like it or rather enjoy it. I have tried this on my mom several times, by letting her know what are the rules and what football is all about. but she still does not like it,forget about enjoying it and feels it is a stupid game with 20 players running after a single ball. :)
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        Oct 17 2011: Thank you for your points.

        However, I would like to share my experiences of being in the opera theatres. When I was in St.Petersburg, Russia, some years ago, I saw people are happy to go to theatre. Even children enjoyed opera very much. When I was in Tokyo, Japan, some years ago, I went to Cirque Du Soleil theatre. I saw a lot of children waiting for shows. These two examples are the successes of theatre development and marketing that help the kids to easily digest music values. Through marketing approaches, the theatres need to communicate and deliver music values to their target market. In business term, to communicate is to educate how to enjoy the shows. (Many theatres are not targeting at kids. So, if we want to ask if kids go to theatres or not, we need to know first if the theatres want kids to get in or not.)

        The topic of this conversation is "What do you think is the main reason why contemporary kids do not like / understand opera?". I think it's theatre's problem, not kids' problem.
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          Oct 17 2011: Ohh,i think I am getting your point if what you mean is showing Kids what they like in Opera.
          Its like they are not thought or educated to enjoy opera,Kids are shown something they can enjoy,like and connect to in Opera.Which I have heard of Opera by/For children which is already present if i am not wrong.

          Cause for me "Enjoyment can never be forced or educated;its felt by your soul".
          i may be naive in commenting so but I strongly belive it.
          i know many of my friends who were forced to learn classical music by their parents but till date none of them enjoy singing it although they know evrything about it; While some who don't have any clue of classical music try their heart out to sing and listen to it because they enjoy doing so.
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        Oct 17 2011: From previous posts, I admit that I did not make my points clear. So, I would like to share some interesting videos.

        1. This video is about injecting thoughts to people's mind. It helps us to understand how businesses often demonstrate marketing campaigns. In case we were in London or New York, there are a lot of psychological manipulations that make us feel good about some products and services. Even if we do not intentionally notice or try to remember those campaigns, we will feel good for the next time we have direct experience with the products and services.

        2. These two videos are about assisting one girl to feel good about piano again after years of not playing it Just simply concluded by the phrase "you are very good pianist". Many parents may find this phrase very useful because kids love sweet words and love to show off in what they are good at.

        However, this experimental experience will not happen with everyone, but I strongly believe that with efforts, people can be changed to be a better person and great musician.
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          Oct 18 2011: Interesting views especially the second point. As I am in a corporate environment surely cannot see the videos but can surely get your views.
          Some of things about your post that I liked is " injecting thoughts to people's mind" which I 100% agree that you can inject your views and thoughts into others. "Psychological manipulations that make us feel good about some products and services" again I agree 100% that’s called marketing for me.
          But what I am wondering is "Can you inject or manipulate peoples way of what they enjoy?"
          If that is being done I would love to see that .I am already wondering the video posted would show me a glimpse of how to do that...Cause I believed that you can change someone’s view, thought process,even make him kill someone by injection and manipulation...Not sure whether it is affective with something that you enjoy...Many husbands would love to see that video to change their wife's nature of enjoying shopping and make them enjoy golf or basketball.. ;).....
          2. Second Point I could connect a little more....Of appreciating someone of what they are doing is that they enjoy doing it....Cause human tendency is to enjoy doing something they are good at...But again the consequence of appreciation can have various side effects..Especially if they are wrongly appreciated. American Idol I can see a lot of bad singers could not accept rejection as they think they were really good at it as per the views given by their family members.But they were actually not....And also this "Positive Appreciation" might not work for a broader retro spectrum. In the sense you can just appreciate your wife in golf saying that she is really good at it; when she could herself make out that she is not even able to hit the ball..She would lose interest somewhere...
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        Oct 18 2011: Thanks for your opinions.

        To answer to your points, I would like to state that there is no single universal solution for making something happen or to change other people. However, in this question topic, I think the hidden objective is to brainstorm for solutions for those kids to feel good about opera. I demonstrated many possible solutions that will make good synergy. It depends on readers' view if they catch the real understanding of my opinions or not. If here becomes a debate, maybe we should set a new topic in another section.
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          Oct 18 2011: I haven't actually refuted to any of the points you have said.In fact I liked the way you looked at things in a buisness or marketin prespective.I was seeing if you have thought of the cons of the points suggested thats all.Different way to look at the same solutions you provided.If we all just agree to the points anyone is putting without actually studing the affect of it,It would not be right thats all.Thanks for commenting cause I really liked your way of approachin things.Was not just sure if it would work so had some questions about the same nothing else.P.S:Oscar Wilde quote - Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong..
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        Oct 18 2011: Thanks for your comments!!!I appreciate that you let me know that I should listen to others. So I can improve myself. There are many important points that you mentioned in the comments. Responding to that, I am searching for relevant evidences of how a husband can change his wife's mind to like football and popcorn. It may take sometimes, but I hope not to exceed time limit of this conversation. However, we can look for it together through a term of "Neuro-Linguistic Programming". The subject surely provides something useful.
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          Oct 19 2011: "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" that strike me.i really liked the concept.Idea that with our senses we are only able to perceive a small part of the world. Our view of the world is filtered by our experience, beliefs, values, assumptions, and biological sensory systems. We act and feel based on our perception of the world rather than the real world.That is each of us individuals have our map based on which we act and think.So changing his map or model we can be able to make changes in his behaviour.As from what i have read this program is affective to change a human behaviour like alcoholic eddiction etc ..etc.Not sure if it has been tested to "Change the way a person enjoys?".I am sure it can be done If researched more or might have already been tried.
          But I am not really in favour of prorammin human beings to enjoy somethin..We would be generatin machines with all havin same interests and thought process and values.I have already seen people commentin in other topics that we are not free even our views and thoughts are guided by the society.We are like playing a chess were we are free to move anything but our evry move is still controlled..Programming persons for enjoyin somethin would be really traggic to see..
          I Really feel stronly the topic should change to "What should Opera do that kids like it?" Its not like "how to change the taste of a person?" but "how to cook food interestingly or creatively so that most of the person like it"?

          Thanks a lot.Learnt something new.
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        Oct 18 2011: Here is a video that shows a lot of details about how to make a person want something that he/she never think of before. If a husband can crack details of this video and try it out, his wife would be sitting next to him for the next football or basketball match. If parents understand techniques of this psychologist and try it out, their children may have interest in opera for the result.

        However, many studies admit that such an attemp may harm human rights. Sometimes, it's called dark side of psychology.
  • Oct 13 2011: My apologies to Ms. Kondrotova- clearly my personal comments are off topic.
    Rebellion and group identity is a big part of how young people relate to their world.
    A good teacher can make the history of ideas interesting to kids-
    However how we each respond to sound and music, and whether it affects us deeply, or annoys us- it is really very individual to each person.
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    Oct 13 2011: When I was young, as is often the case, I was also foolish. I focused on the culture of my generation (this was in the 60s) and ignored all else. Fortunately for me this was a time of change and new ideas so that culture and the music that came with it was innovative and exciting.

    Fast forward a few years. Music became "strictly commercial" and in my opinion it became boring. So I struck out to see what else is out there. One day Carmen was on PBS and in my new spirit of open-mindedness I watched. Many of the melodies were familiar and that peaked my interest. I bought some tapes and a season ticket to Opera San Jose and in short order I was hooked.

    Since then I've continued to explore other genres. For the last few years it's been big band swing to a large extent. But perhaps the key concept here is exploration. And yes, I discovered and learned to like Philip Glass too. Satyagraha is in my collection.

    I think that many young people are the same as I was when I was younger. They live in their own little subculture and essentially turn their backs on much of what is outside of that realm. I can't blame them. Many people aren't bright enough to break out but there are those who do. And some of them are the ones you see at the opera house.

    Incidentally I see that some here are from Britain. Exploring youtube I came across this promo for The Cunning Little Vixen at Grange Park. It looks like such a great production I would have loved to live close enough to see it.
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      Oct 13 2011: Carmen was my first opera too!

      Our Opera House had a neat way of catering for young adult group without watering down the content at all. They put together a Classical Club. Only for ages 18-25, an almost free ticket (good seats, not last-row balcony :-) and a pre-performance talk or behind the scenes tour afterwards.
      To be part of the club people had to sign up and commit to the whole season. If absent to 2 or more performances, they'd lose membership. There was a special section of the cafe where the club could chat during the intermezzo. The Club offered an alternative outing and social networking at an age when staying connected and meeting others was key.

      Now 20 years later and a different country, our local Opera House does have discounted tickets for students. It also reaches out to the community from early on, performing in elementary schools and visiting high schools' music and choir classes to mentor and demonstrate.
      I can imagine art competitions where student classes attend as a whole (having been exposed to the plot before) and do a quick draw, painting, collage, etc. followed by an exhibition in the foyer for the rest of the season.
      You can even go out on a limb and have an online competiton for teens and young adults to turn the plot into a poem or song, and then post it in the Opera House website under a Youth tab. It will get them researching the plot by themselves, and creating something new, and is way less passive than just listening.

      Just some ideas of ways that opera can be introduced in the 21st century youth.
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        Oct 13 2011: I've have a friend who is a young man that worked for us for about seven years back when we had a small business. He was very much into music and I told him that he couldn't really be into music unless he had explored beyond pop and the local music scene (which in Austin is pretty good). I got him to come to a couple opera, in fact one of them was Carmen and the other was Die Fledermaus (again, appropriate with Austin's bat colony).

        Anyhow I've tried to tempt him to get season tickets this year by putting a bit of an emphasis on the, um, gory and sensationalist aspects of two of them. I figure that with pop culture being what it is parading the decapitated heads of princes through the town square (Turandot) and a wedding party that turns into a slasher psycho drama (Lucia) ought to have some appeal. After all, some things never change. Sex and violence have always sold. To quote Georges Bizet, “As a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.”
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          Oct 14 2011: Where did you take him? For what I know opera is one thing Austin does not do...

          You are around the corner, we should join forces :-) Judging by your avatar, it will not take you long to get to Houston...

          Going to Il Barbierii Di Seviglia next month...
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        Oct 14 2011: Actually Austin does have an opera company and they have evolved into a pretty good one. I was a subscriber at HGO for many years but when they made the pit larger my front row seats disappeared and they put me somewhere off to the side. Consequently I dropped my subscription. But I have been looking at the Barber and thinking about possibly getting tickets...
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          Oct 14 2011: Thanks for the link, Austin is close to where I am, so it just gives more options to the musical opportunities in the region. Add Round Rock (EDIT: Round TOP!), and it is just wonderful :-)

          If you are even considering it, Il Barbieri is almost sold out, so as they say "hurry, this offer won't last long"...
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    Oct 13 2011: Speaking for myself - No I don't like Opera! Never did.
    Not only as a music, but also as a story telling media. I've been to a few of the big named Operas in London, and never liked them much beyond the "going to a high class event in a fancy suit" feel they give you :)
    Personally I think as a story telling medium the classic Opera is desperately archaic!
    We're probably the most narratively proficient society that has ever existed on this planet! From big budget movies to televised series, HBOs and sitcoms, graphic novels, independent youtube movies, animations, musicals, video games, the paperback novel etc. etc.
    I'm not saying that Opera has no place in modernity, all I'm saying is that's not surprising if it survives on the fringes of the modern world.
    Because once you strip the narrative value all you got left is some fancy singing, and if you don't happen to like that very particular type of singing style then the media of the Opera becomes void of all potential value for you.
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    Oct 13 2011: First of all anybody has to understand the opera...just more.
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    Oct 13 2011: For the same reason that kids don't like 19th century Melodrama, Morris Dancing or Greek sacrificial rituals. It is the nature of culture to evolve and change. Texts, movements, rhythms or symbols may survive but they are transformed and recombined into new cultural expressions. The real question is why does opera still exist. As far as I can tell it's primarily because somewhere along the line people decided it was 'important' and should be saved and kept pure which, for me, is a little like saying that white skin is important and should be kept pure. I have no problem if people want to spend their whole lives making opera but I think it's sad that it soaks up so many resources. In Australia, Opera Australia receives more than the Australia Council's entire competitive funds for literature, music, theatre, dance, visual arts and inter-arts or cross-artform projects combined. I don't want to disregard the contribution that Opera has made to our culture but nor do I think that any cultural product needs to be preserved. On the contrary culture needs to evolve.
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    Oct 13 2011: I know of no generation that has had many youth drawn to opera. I had to sing opera for many years when I was studying voice. I began singing arias at the age of thirteen. So boring! Opera and I had little in common at the time. I think opera takes far too much time to experience when young. Kids want their senses to be awakened by music quickly.
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      Oct 13 2011: Again the speed....why so fast? What do you do with the remain time? (really not saved time)
  • Oct 13 2011: I have never enjoyed the actual musical sounds of opera. I find they grate on my ears. I never thought the story lines were that interesting or compelling. I've always thought that opera lovers were enthralled about something that frankly just wasn't pleasant on any level to listen to. I've always thought that the cultural implication of not liking opera goes like this. 'Well, you just don't understand it, you weren't exposed to it as a child, you didn't give it a chance etc etc.'
    It isn't about nuances for me- it is that for me, the story lines are very 'soap opera like'. Not very interesting at all.
    If I hear it on the radio, I have to run and turn the radio off, that is a very strong reaction, I must admit. It has always been this way for me. Being fluent in Italian and German- I still cannot abide it.
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    Oct 13 2011: simply depends on individual's taste in music...
    you may like hard rock music...i may like jazz....some like opera...
    why the new generation does not like opera?? well think about this...before taking a kid to an opera...he is exposed to so many different genre of music...he pics the ones he like...compares opera to those...and dislikes it...its no big deal...

    take a kid to opera first and then expose him/her to other type of music...and you may find more kids like opera then..
    • Oct 13 2011: An interesting point of view, I must admit ... Why do you think that it is more probable for kids to start liking opera if you introduce it first? Is it only in the habit of getting used to a certain thing and not wanting to adapt to something else afterwards?
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        Oct 14 2011: They are kids....they get influenced very easily....
        If they like something else...its very rare the'll like opera too..because its completely different than any other genre of music....
        let me give you an example from the vegetables world...its a real life example....
        I hate bitter gourd(a.k.a - Bitter melon)....i can never even taste it...its yuk...
        but my younger brother loves it...he can eat it raw....he's been eating it since 5 or 6....i never had it until i was 12,13 i guess...and i can never in my life think of liking bitter gourd see...what i'm trying to say here...
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    Oct 13 2011: Maybe children do not like/can't understand opera when the subject matter is irrelevant for their maturity level and when they don't understand the language of the story being told.
  • Oct 13 2011: My children love opera because I took the time to help them learn to appreciate it. Conversely, I took the time to appreciate their music as well. I started by telling them to forget about trying to understand what the words mean - that the voice is essentially an instrument and the words are used to create different sounds. Once the melodies were familiar, we talked about what emotions they experienced when listening to the music (sad, happy, scared, etc). Only after listening to the aria several times and talking about it did we read what the opera was really about. The challenge was to see if we could guess the story from the music. My children are now grown and as a family, we appreciate all types of music. We also attend many concerts, from operas to metal music. It's a gift I have never regretted giving them. From this experience, I have been able to convert many to appreciate opera.
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    Oct 12 2011: I think that the content of opera has not been developed the way for which children can understand/appreciate; there is no relevance to their lives!
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    Oct 12 2011: Because for a kid its usually boring. Please dont be hurt. Opera is mature music for mature beings. It just doesnt hit the right spot. If it were the only option available then perhaps it could work. Perhaps it did way back then. OK I own up Its not really my bag either. I'm with the kids! There may be contemporary operas that appeal to adolescent sensibilities. But really why do you worry so about this? Let it be! Let them go! The harder you try the more you mgiht push them away. Do you really want them to sit through Wagner? Sorry it is and has been for some time opera's loss. I'm not so sure the youth are missing out on so much here. .-- Though i do hear my ears burning.
    • Oct 12 2011: Sure, Ive got your point. I agree that when you make people to do something against their will, it has the opposite effect (on kids especially).
      I never had this idea of forcing people into listening opera or identifying with something they do not like. Of course, opera is not for everyone, (just as rock or jazz is not for eveyrone). What I was trying to say is, that I feel like the media and the people responsible, should represent it in a better way, so that people (and young people especially) would accept it as a music genre which is not dead. We should provide a different option to choose among the self-same ones prefered and presented.
      I do not want it to become mainstream, I do not want it to become usual, but I do not want it to become forgotten and unsupported either.
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        Oct 12 2011: I agree with you Katarina. And things find their useful levels I'm sure. Languages are dying out which is more of a shame but as our brain prunes back unused connections so to does our society. Opera will not be lost for sure. Too many opera houses for that to happen. Have you been to the Sydney Opera House?
        • Oct 13 2011: Yes, there will still be enough opera fans to keep it alive, I thankfully agree.
          And yes, I have been inside the Sydney Opera House a couple of years ago, but I was too little to remember it in detail and too little to watch a peroframnce, unfortunately, as well. However, I remember that it impressed me in its grandness and I would love to come back there some day and see it again (but this time with a performance as well :))
  • Oct 12 2011: All of you bring up fine points and this is a well thought out discussion. I am well past the "Todays Youth" label, but I can speak from my own experience of love of music.
    I have one of the most eclectic collections of music on my laptop. One of my absolute favorites is Lemke's "Flowers Duet". I never grow old of listening to this Aria. The feelings that wash over me are hard to put into words,and all this without undertanding a single word. I can't help but wonder what I am missing without knowing what is being said. And that is why opera is hard to follow.
    I do not speak Italian nor German or any of the others Masters languages. Nor do many of todays youth. The whole message is lost to them, or I should say it was to me and I am sure it is to many of them. I remember a New York Opera Company came to my High School in South Florida many years ago and did a few original operas and masterpieces in English. It made all the difference to me. I got it! I was able to follow the story. That one day was enough to get me hooked to an extent.
    If we want youth to get opera, we have to sing in their language. Just like we took parts of classical music and incorperated into rock and roll. Made it real easy to tell students that the music they love started somewhere else and then expose them to the orignal classics. If we listen, it is still being done even today. Just an idea that worked on a 16-year old kid many years ago.
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    Oct 11 2011: I'd have to say that it's due to lack of exposure to opera. When I have the privilege to sing to children, it's amazing how they "get it." The best thing about opera for kids is that it's 'storytelling.' But you have to let them experience the appropriate stories that they can relate to. If you bring children to the Ring Cycle when they've never seen an opera before, they'll probably be shifting in their seats. But bring them to Hansel & Gretel, or any opera that relates to children, and they can see themselves in the story. That's the greatest part of singing to kids is- they WANT to be engaged in the story. When you read to your child at night, do you read them the newspaper? (Bravo to your child if she enjoys it...or perhaps it's an ingenius ploy on your part to get that kid to sleep!) No, you read them the story they love because they see themselves in it somehow. Curiosity for the arts begins in exploring one's own mind. Enjoyment of the arts comes from feeling comfortable in it.
    As to the 'high society life' question- I read every fairytale princess book I could get my hands on when I was a kid. If we make it possible for kids to see themselves in different scenarios, their imaginations can take them to the place they want to be and hopefully show them the way to make that a reality.
    While I do love operas that challenge convention (while still making sense to the story!), I love the tradition of opera. I love singing music that was sung centuries ago and having that connection to humanity. If you don't like opera because it seems stuffy or irrelevant, I'd encourage you to listen to some opera while asking yourself what it could mean to you now. When I sing Carmen, I get seduced by the music and become seductive myself. When I sing Dido's Lament, I feel the hopelessness that comes with the loss of love. Those feelings are as alive in me today as they were for people 300 years ago- and that is what makes it classic.
  • Oct 11 2011: Having met a few dozen young opera singers, it is clear that a small percentage of children resonate with opera. As for the rest, I speculate that until they have experienced enough tragedy and pain, they cannot identify with the heroes and heroines of opera. You can ignore opera for half of your life and then become a rabid fan, if you empathize with the drama on stage. In other words, contemporary kids do not understand opera because their lives are too comfortable and too removed from real tragedy.
  • Oct 11 2011: Opera is an old school form of music, which does not mean it is bad. Kids today are so influenced by the media that they do not come up with their own opinions. The main stream music these days is trash, it has no purpose or meaning. The only way I believe opera could be brought back is to advertise it differently. I do not exactly know what differently means in this case but the way it is portrayed today is the reason it is not accepted by the youth.
  • Oct 10 2011: It hard to here for kid or younger
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    Oct 9 2011: Love you question!
    I agree with Debra, lack of exposure also being at the top of my list.
    I think we have allowed the media to "educate" our children in more ways we care to admit. It is the adults' responsibility to pass on to the next generation the best of theirs. We have neglected this area...

    Although opera was performed earlier in the US, it became popular in the late 1800's with the arrival of immigrants, mainly Italians. I will address that side, since it is in my blood.
    They brought with them their passions: big families, great food, a strong faith, a rich, expressive language, music, and yes, the mafia. The same holds true for where I come from, except for the Godfather part.
    Back then society was family centered, and Italians were the most protective of them all (think Moonstruck, then playback 100 years) Parents made it very clear to the young what the rules were: they never let go of their language, Momma was a saint, and opera was sung and then played day and night with the reverence due to the National Anthem.
    My own children grew up listening all kinds of music: classic, folklore, tango, Caribbean, and of course, opera too. I believe this gave them a wider perspective, and a special connection with other cultures.

    For those parents that forgot, not all is lost. A 4th grade teacher decided to handle the whole Language Arts class from the opera perspective, and even had a small stage with curtains and all in the room. Students learned everything from spelling to composition through opera, and could recite with flare more arias than I can recall titles for. In addition, they also developed tolerance and intercultural understanding. At the end of the year a singer from the Opera House would perform for the whole school and that class participated too. Several of those students went on to pursue singing and musical careers.
    Teachers can be amazing agents for change. Mrs. Robertson, your students will never forget you!
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    Oct 9 2011: I have an inkling. At my high school when you were late for a class you had to go to tardy sweep, which means you were corralled into the cafeteria and forced to write down the code of conduct while listening to opera music. Needless to say, this lead to an aversion to opera music, at least to the people who felt they were being forced to listen to it.
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    Oct 8 2011: I love all kinds of music although I just realized that I have never really listened to Opera. I think it is an art form worth a listen though so if anyone knows a good place to start Im all ears.
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    Oct 8 2011: I studied film and media at university and in my experience, people generally don't like musical genres, whether it be on stage like opera and operetta, or musical movies. I personally love them, but in my opinion the reason why most people don't is because it's not really, well, life-like. You don't go around singing about your problems to people and you don't confess your feelings with an aria. Telling stories with songs is just not a thing you experience in your everyday life, plus there is the fact that especially in operas you have to listen very carefully to be able to make out the words. Songs and music require interpretation too, rather than just listening to a casual conversation and immediately understanding it. In a way this is the same problem as why prose is so much more popular than poetry. I think it might be estranging to them in a way.

    I don't think operas could ever be appealing to the masses, to be honest.
  • Oct 8 2011: Opera is a form of expression for a time without the flash and convenience of contemporary music concerts. Opera would not be the same form of expression if changed beyond small effects, so that it would attract a larger audience .

    I've found Opera to be a more an acquired taste so introducing children to the experience in a positive manner has the chance to form an appreciation and bond to this style of expression.

    How can a person ever appreciate Opera if that person has never associated anything positive to the experience?
  • Oct 8 2011: In my eyes, music shouldn't have to change simply because of a changing social structure.
    A lot of people I know and whom have known me to this day don't get why I listen and play what I do, which are yet two popularly misunderstood genres of music known as avant-garde and death metal. They don't understand, and I don't feel it is my duty to MAKE them understand; the task of interpretation should be on the shoulders of the listener, something that is indeed a point of contention, since people tend to be incredibly blunt in how they describe certain styles of music(ex. 'This band sucks', 'this song is awesome'). If anything, the youth of late should be willing to express, at the very least, a sense of respect for the musical tastes of other's, whether it be classical, jazz, metal, techno, or noise.
    Stemming back to the main point of your question(since I am still relatively young), I don't particularly understand opera, since I RARELY partake in it; however, I do understand why some people would like it.