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What is the future of opera?

Opera houses are closing all over the world. Audiences are becoming increasingly smaller (and older). There is also a certain stigma surrounding opera, possibly because it is now considered somewhat elitist. Opera has been around since 1597; is it possible that this art form is no longer relevant? Is it doomed to die out entirely?

  • I don't know of any sort of stigma attached to opera per se, but this may be something that is demonstrable. Also, you may wish to look at the emergence of atonal music, and see if you could find any correlation - there may not be, but I think it is an avenue worth investigating. – JDJankowski 6 years ago
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  • Most opera is tonal, actually, especially the ones performed regularly in major opera houses. It might be worth a look, though! However, it is possible that the average ear is no longer used to complex harmonies or vocal acrobatics in music, which could be why people are less interested. Perhaps it also has to do with attention span; popular songs are usually around three minutes... is three hours just too long for a modern audience? I personally find that there is a significant stigma surrounding opera. Most people assume that it's terrible without ever having listened to it or seeing one. It seems that it's not "cool" to like opera. In my music history class, we discussed that classical music and opera is now considered somewhat classist and elitist. Perhaps this is because people seem to dress up to go, listen politely and wait their turn to clap (instead of the general freedom of audience reaction in a rock concert, for example), and often pay large amounts of money to go. That's not even considering things like lavish sets/costumes and the years of training and discipline that the performers must have to reach a level where they can perform in an opera or symphony. I'd be curious to read an article about this! – Laura Jones 6 years ago
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  • Opera goes through periods of popularity and non-popularity. Take Thatcher's Britain, for example, where high art was very "in" and other forms of performance such as musical theatre sought to mimic opera (les mis, phantom of the opera, and other "pop-eras") In writing this article, one would benefit from talking about where opera has been and the circumstances under which it was popular in order to unlock its future. I, for one, guarantee, it will not die in our lifetime. – Cmandra 6 years ago
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  • I agree with Cmandra. The overlap between certain musical theatre and opera is interesting. Why is Le Miserables so popular but Carmen is not? – Peter Prevos 4 years ago
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