I remember the night I was getting ready to see my sister perform in the children’s chorus in LA Opera’s production of Georges Bizet’s Carmen. I was nine years old and it was my first opera. As I stressed over what to wear, I kept imagining what it would be like when I opened the doors to the Dorothy Chandler: Hundreds of sophisticated adults in expensive outfits sipping champagne and discussing the show, and meanwhile I’d be sitting there feeling under dressed, under prepared, and terribly confused as to what they were even talking about.
Years later, I’m here to tell you to have no fear. For any of you with concerns about how to approach the opera, I would actually argue that opera is very easy to relate to (and also very enjoyable!). Here are a few reasons why:
- The Spectacle. Who doesn’t like flashy lights, a lavish set, and dazzling costume pieces?
- The Drama. This applies especially to young people: come on, let’s face it, sometimes it seems like the only thing left in life is drama. When you go to the opera, you can take anything from a broken heart to lasting frustration and channel it into some of the most emotional plot lines of all time.
- The Singing. Before going to the opera, I’ve never actually had my breath taken away by someone’s voice. Opera singers don’t use microphones, but each melody, each harmony, and each unbelievably high note will definitely touch your heart.
If you still have any doubts, I encourage you to come to some of the education events held by LA Opera . There, you can ease your way into the opera experience, and you can also be sure to have a great time. (Coincidentally, today 2000 students from multiple schools across the Greater Los Angeles community are coming to see the final dress rehearsal of The Magic Flute through the Operawise Program.)
Yes, it may seem a bit scary at first. But believe me: conquer your fear, give opera a shot, and you’re sure to be blown away.
Chloe Harris is a junior studying theater at LA County High School for The Arts and part of the LA Opera’s Ambassador Program.