Remember when you were a kid...
In back of the TV Guide or newspaper they’d feature celebrities, movie/tv stars, the gossip and their birthdays.
I don’t know about you, but I never knew who any of those people were. I figured when I got older I would come to know such things.
But I still don’t. Even people from my favorite shows. I don’t know their names only the characters names usually. Leaving me a bit blank at social gatherings when talk turns to this fun subject.
With opera I’m only a little bit savvier. I know some opera performers but one second in an opera group online will show you that you know nothing compared to those people who’ve been at it all their lives.
So how can we learn more?
One of my favorite ways is through magazines. I’m a magazine addict! Add opera to it and it’s a magic combination.
Opera News shares a great deal of their content online- for free. It’s usually a little behind the current issue I receive in the mail, but the opera world does not move so fast that this is a problem. Many people receive this periodical through a donation to the Met Opera Guild but it is possible to simply subscribe outright. My favorite features:
- Operapedia- They take an opera or opera subject and break it down into small absorbable pieces.
- Interviews with singers –You really feel you get to know people you maybe only get to see talk for a few seconds on Live in HD
- Articles on directors or composers- maybe people whose work you don’t even like. You can get some insight into what they are trying to accomplish and even if you don’t come away willing to like the piece you gain understanding of what they are trying to accomplish
They put the whole issue online to flip through (just like our online gift guide)! It says you have to be logged in but don’t let that stop you. It works, for now. I wrote to ask them permission to share this knowledge but received no response. Hopefully they will take it in the spirit of my promoting them because many people do not know about Opera America.
You can look at current and past issues. A lot of their content is geared for people in the business of opera, the people behind the scenes. However they always include high quality articles about issues facing the world of opera today. It’s worth a flip through!
They put a lot of their articles online to browse through. They are based in the UK so will give you content that is from a different perspective and include information on different opera happenings around the world. So many classical music magazines can be a bit over my head but Opera Now does a great job of giving you information and teaching you without your... well, needing a music degree or something.
While these publications are giving us a lot for free, if after trying them out you find one you particularly enjoy, I definitely encourage you to support them with a subscription. They make a lot of money from advertisers (believe me I know) but subscribers are very important too.
And, in my opinion, nothing is nicer that curling up with a real paper magazine with its gorgeous photos and a cup of tea (and probably a cat in this house).