Art Chowder September | October 2017, Issue 11 - Page 53

How to Enjoy Your First Opera: u Read the plot of the opera so you can follow the story better. www.metopera.org/Discover/Synopses/Carmen u Find out if there will be supertitles projected above the the- ater stage, to follow along with the story. u Remember that the music in opera drives the emotions of the story, so listen carefully and enjoy the orchestra. u Listen to a couple of music selections from the opera ahead of time. www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2snTkaD64U u Immerse yourself in the visuals— enjoy the sets and cos- tumes—they are a big part of the experience. u Don’t be late. Unlike movies or sports events, you can’t en- ter or exit an opera auditorium once the performance has begun. If you miss the curtain because of traffic, you can take in a live feed of the performance on television mon- itors in the lobby. Latecomers then take their seats at a suitable interval—usually intermission. u Share your enthusiasm! Feel free to applaud, whistle, yell “Woo-hoo!”, or shout out “Bravo!” when a musician does something you love. Enthusiastic displays of appreciation are always welcome, although it’s customary to wait for an appropriate opportunity, such as the end of an aria. Be courteous. u Stay quiet. Opera is unamplified. The voices you hear are created by the singers all by themselves, that’s why they’re so precious. Also, some of the most dramatic moments in opera are the quietest. Also for the benefit of the artists and audience members, please turn off your phone, and re- frain from talking or whispering, even during the overture. September | October 2017 53