Opera is underappreciated

Emily Kline, Staff Writer

New York’s Metropolitan Opera broadcasts six performances yearly to movie theaters across America, including the West End’s Icon. Opera is easily accessible to the everyday person for the first time, yet one rarely hears a teen rave about their favorite operatic aria. In the last few decades, opera has garnered a negative reputation, one it certainly doesn’t deserve.

Opera has long been absent from the radar of American youth, due to popular culture labeling it as boring or irrelevant to today’s viewers. However, opera is growing right here in the Twin Cities.

The Minnesota Opera Company, founded in 1963, crafts five productions every year designed to bring opera to today’s audience. The operas are easier to access than ever, with subtitles projected above the screen and sets, costumes, and lighting of top-notch quality. But despite the availability of opera as close as St. Paul, the current generation seems to have no interest.

As musical tastes morph over the years, classic styles lose ground to modern music, such as rap, hip-hop, or pop. Why shouldn’t opera be appreciated as well? The art form overflows––it offers music that can touch every emotion, soaring voices, and thousands of unique stories, from tragedies to comedies––and it’s still reinventing itself.

Opera also promises a bright future for those who love it; the MN Opera hosts camps for children and teens enthralled by the idea of belting out classic arias, without auto-tune or even a microphone.

Despite its lack of popular appreciation today, the operatic world is focusing on tomorrow. This year, MN Opera will perform a famous classic, Madame Butterfly, and a brand new work, Silent Night.

It’s time culture welcomed opera with open arms; it’s ready and waiting.