There is much talk today about opera (and classical music in general) and its need to be more relevant and, dare I say, “cool.” Because apparently there are other things teenagers would rather go and do besides listen to someone with a massive voice and …
Let’s see if I piss anybody off with this one.
In addition to all of this, because there is that assumption that anyone between the ages of 16 and 30 do not want to go to the opera or learn about opera, etc., those who do openly proclaim that they do enjoy doing those things are praised into the high heavens with shallow notions like, “You can barely get your driver’s permit, and you like Verdi? MY, YOU ARE SPECIAL. Good for you! Look at you being better than your peers!“
This is not healthy, and it is not true. Just because I like opera doesn’t mean that 1.) I can’t like to watch television series just as much or 2.) I am better than anyone who prefers to watch television over going to the opera. It’s a matter of preference and interest, and that is more than okay.
What Reese said too.
It’s ironic because I think the elitist shit is responsible more than anything else for driving young people away from opera. Yet I keep finding that attitude in musicians, and people who work in “classical” music, as well as the fans; “Oh, I don’t listen to POPULAR music” and pooh-poohing music that isn’t the product of an intensive rehearsal room adolescence.
It may feel gratifying in the short term, or help them justify that Music degree, but it’s damaging, it sucks and it needs to stop.
Can we all just STOP putting opera and orchestral music on some gilded pedestal? There is brilliant pop music. Great pop music requires talent and hard work. There is brilliant punk and noise and metal being made in underground circles, by people with no formal musical training whatsoever. That does not diminish opera or “classical” in any way.
Listening to Mozart does not make you a superior being. Listening to Beyonce does not make you a lesser being. Knock it off.