I must confess, nowadays nothing impresses me much - I don't have anything new to write about so I thought I might share with you the reason I love opera so much.
First of all, I am sure you remember when Richard Gere says something like this in Pretty Woman: "the first time at Opera makes you decide whether you'll like it or not for the rest of your life" and well, it's quite true. I think many people who dislike opera don't appreciate it because whenever they think of it, they recall a woman singing something not understandable in an annoyingly high tone. But that's not what opera is about.
I have always loved opera because in my opinion it has all that's needed: the lyrics are beautiful (thankfully they're mostly Italian so I can understand them), the story is great, the vision is marvellous and the voices and the music is touching. Opera expresses emotions in at least five fields, all at once, what else could one ask for?
Maybe a good experience, right? I was lucky enough to have that in Venice. And that was the day when I officially became an admirer.
A gentleman was standing on the street, singing opera, escorted by music (sometimes his own but usually from a recorder but that did not reduce the wonder). He was not a beggar, as you can see in the picture, he had expensive equipment, he was just singing for fun, because he can sing and loves to sing. When he performed sad songs, I felt like I was about to cry myself and when he sang songs from opera buffa-s (comical operas), the whole street was filled with energy, his and the performance's energy. He was also talking between two songs and since my cousin and I were sitting quite close to him, he looked at us (we were smiling) and said: "nothing's more beautiful than a woman smiling than a woman smiling with all her heart" (the translation is poor, it sounded more beautifully in Italian).
It was an exceptional experience that turned my love to adoration.
I believe even if those who dislike opera should at least respect it and the singers for the talent of interpreting passion, love, tragedy, hate, jealousy and other basic human emotions in a special and incomparable way.