For the Love of Opera ….

Patina of a Yesterday Century …. Aglow yet Today, the Love for Opera

Anna Reinhold and Nicolas Rivenq Members perform a scene from

Anna Reinhold and Nicolas Rivenq Members perform a scene from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s “Atys” conducted by William Christie, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Opera House on September 16, 2011. (Photo: Stephanie Berger)

How many days, sometimes on end, do we experience the desire to “escape” the flotsam, frayed sights and sounds of mere existence? Not necessarily because the routine sunshine is punctured by unpleasantness or missed opportunities, or because sheer busyness threatens to break the already bulging schedule door apart, but there comes the realization that the soul is not satisfied with mere activity or achievement. The perception that “what we do” is “who we are” is not gratifying after all is said and done.

The soul needs to be gently stroked like cat fur. Pampered. Restored for actions and challenges.

This is when opera – the organized chaos, the darkly, sparkly sounds and colours, crowns and swords of good and evil, and the pining, breaking hearts and promises of Cupid arrows – can be the saving grace of the day. An ultimate great escape.

Think about it. Whether viewing a filmed or live performance, opera is a resplendent stage upon which fantasy life and art are played out hand in hand. Pure entertainment. And, people need to re-learn or become re-acquainted with such an art that is a majestic blessing of song and acting in disguise, an awakened dream of the grandiloquent and grandiflora in costume and presentation. Our souls need that kind of respite.

Was the creation of many an early opera a self-prescribed treatment for the chiaroscuro moods of a composer’s psyche? The lyrics and melody a necessary compulsion, a creative madness, sometimes a combination thereof resulting in genius? Maybe. These creative visions of song-play have stood like pillars for centuries, an art form that has survived because in some strange way, sometimes explainable, the soul and the mind have been touched – and refined and enhanced to appreciate the glittering fathoms of belle and beau beauty awaiting unveiling. An opera can be viewed as a breathing painting, a masterpiece to be admired from the proper distance to fully appreciate the intended effects, even when the crack of time is evident in the lustrous varnish. The best of opera’s unfurling blossom can lie below the surface, to be noticed and enjoyed between the poetic waves of beat and pomp – and in any century.

Now as never before, truly, before the current Tech Age ravages away all desire for the eloquence of art and culture, it is time to rediscover opera and taste anew its enchantment in all its forms, spectres and mists of golden stardust pleasures.

Copyright © October 2015: Lorraine Dmitrovic