Today the Telegraph poses the “Big Question” are opera and ballet elitist?
The Daily Telegraph have a vote on the above question. At the time of writing this blog 40% of the vote said Yes and 60% of the voters said No, out of a total 441 votes.
Two of my favorite activities are singing operatic music and ballet, I only heard operatic music (other than on T.V. advertisements) when I met Jayne Wilson a singing teacher at my comprehensive school. I had been singing popular music and musical theater numbers which are more accessible through state schools and the radio stations my parents listened to.
My mum, was taken on a school trip to the ballet by her Secondary school and would have loved to be a ballerina, so when I was two and a half she enrolled me into mixed dance classes ballet and tap. In our home town the Civic Hall staged a ballet each year and Mum and I went around my birthday, I loved it. I took my grades up to grade 7 and unfortunately didn’t have time to continue when my music studies took precedence. I still adore ballet and hope to resume my dancing at some stage.
My first visit to an opera was for my 18th birthday, my parents took me to see “The Queen of Spades” at the Lowry Theater in Salford Quays, I love listening to Tchaikovsky’s music and he composed the score. It was fabulous and I have gone on to see several operas in Glasgow and saw Eugene Onegin (a lyric opera) a couple of weeks ago and drifted into a world where I was Tatiana. This opera was also composed by Tchaikovsky. I love how the opera made me feel, I came out of Eugene Onegin thoroughly uplifted.
I love that the opera is being featured in cinemas now to reach a wider audience. I don’t think it is any more elitist than watching live football, no one is blocked from buying a ticket and I have met opera lovers from a wide variety of jobs and backgrounds. My Nan didn’t think she’d like Opera but she loves the music from Carmen and more now that I’ve introduced them to her.
As a footnote I was pleased to read in Telegraph today ( 13th March ) about the new season on The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. It is well worth a read.