I got hooked on opera from watching the movie “A Room With A View.” The opening credits have Kiri Te Kanawa singing “O Mio Babbino Caro” from the short Puccini opera Gianni Scicchi. It was so beautiful that I just closed my eyes and listened. When I found out that the music was from an opera (something that I knew nothing about), I decided I should experience an opera in its complete form.
Operas are an unlikely mix of improbable (and often just plain stupid) plots, lavish staging, sometimes-boorish acting and magical music and singing. There’s something about this juxtaposition of elements that just grabs my heart. It makes the singing more beautiful, the tragedy more believable and the visual impact more heart-felt. It’s hard to explain. A well-sung Italian opera has me right where it wants me!