"The Performer" - A wonderful new artwork by Grant Jarrett
Hello Opera Lovers,
From incredible original opera posters that jump out at you - to opera art, opera tee shirts, singers, conductors, composers and all things opera, (including some some great performances), you'll find it here at Opera Arts.
What's so great about opera?
Perhaps it's the music or perhaps it's much more.
Certainly, opera is a combination of several art forms including singing, orchestration, set design, costume and of course, the story…often so dramatic it stretches belief. Add in the spectacle and the emotion and any fan of opera will tell you when it all comes together, there is nothing quite like it!
Opera is an art-form that many of us like to lose ourselves in. Who cares if the story is as mad as our hero or heroine? All we can be sure of, is that the music will invade our emotions and overcome our logic to the point where we will believe, until the curtain falls on the last act.
For some it will be the range of emotions we feel throughout the opera- the joy of eternal love, the passion of love betrayed, the grief of loss, or just the sheer beauty of hope amongst the angst of despair. It will carry us along in its wings regardless until he is shot or stabbed, or she goes mad or takes poison and drops dead… if she doesn't jump! Sometimes they even live happily ever after…but not too often.
We opera aficionados are a weird lot; some would say we are as mad as the operas we love. Many of us know every note and nuance of the piece and woe betide any singer that falls short of expectations – the claques are always waiting!
Directors we love or loathe depending on their vision of our most precious imaginings…and conductors (whom we reverentially call "Maestros") can be our darlings or our demons depending how they beat time for the band! When everything goes right, we can throw flowers and scream "bravo" (M) or "brava" (F). When it all goes sour some Italians have been known to throw fruit and veggies.
In opera our heroes, heroines and villains don't always look like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie…but more than a few are ravishingly beautiful or handsome in the extreme.
Some can be quite plain and others can even more resemble Mack trucks, but when they open their mouths to sing, all is forgiven…after all, its all about the music when all is said and done.
Who cares if she's fifty playing a seventeen year old? A seventeen year old couldn't make a noise like that anyhow and we all know her "young lover" will take off his hair at the end of the performance and leave it on a block!
Most of us speak basic Italian- well, we've never had a lesson but we are so familiar with vital words like perdona, ascolta, andiam, signor, crudel, perduta, abbandonata, morto, fatale, and of course, amore! This is all we need……we can easily fill in the rest!
Many of us will collect vinyl records- others CD's and DVD's or photos. We will scour books and the Internet to find memorabilia or scores, lost recordings or even pirated performances. Some of us will collect many recordings of the same opera- just to compare different casts or singers.
We are all delightfully hooked on the addiction of sheer pleasure for which there is no cure. Once hooked, it's usually got us for life. That's just all part of the mad, bad wonderful world of opera. Dare we hope that this website will help to feed the afflicted and addicted…perhaps even you?
Maria Callas & Tito Gobbi in the 1965 production of Tosca at Covent Garden.
Conducted by Carlo Felice Cilario.
Artists in the Top Banner L/R: Cornell McNeil, Birgit Nilsson, Fiorenza Cosotto, Joan Sutherland, Maria Callas, Renata Scotto, Roberto Alagna