Trying to get someone to go to the opera can be a challenging thing. As the chief marketing gal at Palm Beach Opera, it quite literally is my job to get people to come to the opera. Yes, I buy advertising in the newspaper, on the radio, and online but the most powerful marketing out there is always the endorsement of a friend.
When I talk to people about why they haven’t been to the opera, the responses vary but there always seems to be the common thread that it is just so…so…different and that there is a certain amount of fear associated with that.
Let’s face it: opera can be intimidating. It is very different from the normal activities of daily life. There are all these people up on a stage making really loud noises in a language that most of the people in the audience doesn’t speak. However, it is that different-ness that makes it spectacular, energizing, and engaging. When you are at the opera, you become engrossed in the action that is taking place on stage. You can’t take your eyes off of the singers, the sets, the costumes, the special effects.
Opera plots are more juicy than any reality show on TV right now. How about this: a woman falls in love with a guy from a different culture (and is disowned by her family in the process), gets pregnant with his child, and waits years for him to come back after going away for “work” only for him to return with his new wife to claim his kid. Heavy, huh?
And then there’s the singing. So, let’s talk about the singing! Why do opera singers sound like that? Well, opera singers train for many, many, many years to learn this particular singing technique that allows them to sing unamplified (yes, opera is UNAMPLIFIED – no mics!) in a big theater over an orchestra of about 50 musicians and still be heard in the very last row. Also, the classical style of singing focuses on using the voice in a healthy way. Unlike most pop stars, opera singers tend to have careers of 30 years or more because they are singing with proper technique.
The price of your ticket is well worth the amazing and extraordinary experience you will have for the two and a half hours that you are at the opera. And by the way, opera tickets come in all prices and most companies have seats for less than $30 plus any number of student and/or rush ticket options. Even if you splurge on a more expensive seat, keep in mind that you are seeing a production that cost a minimum $500,000 to put on performed by highly skilled people singing and acting their hearts out on stage accompanied by more than 50 instrumentalists in the pit with even more technical workers backstage making the show run.
This is the real deal. This is opera.