Opera tells a story just like a book, play or movie, except in opera, the characters sing!
Opera is always performed in Italian, French or German. While most operas are performed in different languages, English translations are projected above the stage. Programs summarize the plot, offer insights into the opera and introduce the artists and personnel involved.
Opera is for older people. More and more young people are attending the opera and loving it! According to one survey In 2008, the median age of the opera attendant was 48. Another recent study indicates the fastest-growing opera audience is for those under the age of 35.
I don't know the music. Yes you do! Music from opera is everywhere. Opera appears in commercials, movies, and cartoons. Soundtracks would not exist were it not for opera, and there would be no Broadway musicals if opera hadn't been there first.
I have nothing to wear. Wear what you like, many dress up for a special day out, others prefer a casual look. From black tie to business casual, costumes to casual Fridays, opera is for everyone.
When do I applaud? The correct times to applaud are when the conductor takes the podium at the beginning of the performance, after the overture (an orchestral introduction), after an aria (a solo "song"), at the end of each act and when the cast bows after the final curtain. It is also appropriate to shout "Bravo" for a male performer, "Brava" for a female artist and "Bravi" for everyone!
I can't afford opera tickets. You would be surprised -- tickets to performances at Opera Roanoke start at just $20.00. AND, students are FREE!
Performances are too long. For the most part, performances are not much longer than a blockbuster movie, and unlike movies, opera performances also include one or two intermissions between acts approximately 20 minutes in length.
Fact: Arrive on time! It is recommended that you arrive thirty to forty-five minutes prior to the start time. If you are late, the ushers may let you in after the overture, but if there is no overture, you may have to wait until the first intermission and miss the entire first act.
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