What do you know about opera?
You probably know more about opera than you think you do. After all, opera has influenced nearly all other forms of popular entertainment—from Broadway musicals to Hollywood movies, and from television commercials to classic cartoons. It's hard to imagine major motion pictures—from Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings—without the Wagnerian, operatic sound of their passionate musical scores to sweep you away.
When it comes to the ultimate sensory experience, nothing feeds your ears, eyes, mind, and heart more than opera. Given today's multimedia-craving culture, no wonder this all-in-one performance art continues to be popular. But before you run out to discover the thrill of opera for yourself, it pays to do a little homework first to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of what you're about to see. Read on.
An Historical Overview
Early opera was born as Italian philosophers and artists in Florence attempted to revive the combination of poetry, music, and stage visuals that they believe characterized the theater of ancient Greece. They did not have a name for this new art-form—putting all the arts on stage at the same time—so they called it "work"; and the Italian word for work is opera. A new multi-media art-form was born, rather like the birth of the movies in our own day. To read more about the history of opera, click here.
Know the Language
Learning the language of the opera can open up new insight into this art form. Click here to gain a better understanding of opera terminology.
Opera Etiquette FAQs
For answers to frequently asked questions about opera etiquette, click here.
Want to experience opera? Click here to visit our video archive.