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 lots of vibrato sing for 3 hours in a language they don’t understand in a seat where they can’t eat popcorn and can’t just walk out of and where they can’t look at their phone ever.
None of this is an attempt to solve that problem, such as it is. Merely just pointing out ways that are not going to solve that problem.
For instance, this week the San Francisco Opera released this article outlining all the ways that they think opera and Arrested Development are similar. (Never mind that they just inherently aren’t.) The whole thing is just terribly forced and unfunny.
Here’s how imagine this meeting going:
Somebody in Charge of Making Opera Cool: Quick! Yonge people! What is cool that we can put in a sentence with the word opera and make it seem cool?!
Intern: Well, people seem to like Arrested Devlopment.
SCMOC: Yes! But wait- opera and AD don’t really have anything to do with each other. How can we do this anyway?
Intern: Well, doesn’t that guy give people an elixir?
Other Intern: Yeah, and Lucille gets drunk!
SCMOC: Good job! Go forth and find GIFS!! Also, don’t worry if it is only applicable to a specific production we did one time, that’s totally cool.
Another Intern: *tries to point out that the elixir in L’elisir doesn’t even work, but is ignored, as usual* *”Christmastime is Here” begins to play*