I saw my first opera last night, La Boheme, and I didn’t fall asleep. I stayed awake for the whole thing and even kind of enjoyed it.
I was surprised by how similar it was to a modern musical. Really the only differences were the singing in Italian, the live orchestra, and lack of cheesy dance numbers. Otherwise it was a modern musical. And yet as much as I love musicals, I wasn’t that impressed with the opera. Why? I had to madly read surtitles, so I couldn’t follow what the performers were doing on stage; I didn’t appreciate the the operatic signing; and there were no cheesy dance numbers – I love the cheesy dance numbers. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I spoke Italian.
Congratulations on attending your firt opera and not falling asleep. I love the subtitles. Given my hearing problems, at least at the opera I can follow what is being said. The idea is to read up on the production so you know the story line beforehand, then forget trying to figure out every word. Just relax and let the expressiveness of the performers tell the tale.
I love the opera. MOM
I saw a local group opera performance when I was in Toronto. There weren’t any subtitles at all because it was done at a school. But they gave us pamphlets that described what happened during each act. So between acts, we would read up what was supposed to happen. It was pretty neat to watch it that way. I actually did understand the story and the characters. Pretty fun.