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Rant 'n Rave > America's Got Talent is now 50% Opera

As of last night, two of the "final four" acts are opera singers (or opera-ish singers). They were voted in by the TV audience; the judges had no say in this final four.

There are other circumstances that help, of course. Jackie Evancho (sp?) is a cute ten-year-old girl with an astonishingly adult-sounding voice. She has novelty and sympathy going for her. "Prince Poppycock" is relying on outrageous Liberace-type comic showmanship more than his singing voice (and seemed more shocked than anyone that he made the final four).

But still: 50% of the pop-culture summer finale is now opera. And every previous season that I've even remotely watched has had some amateur opera singer make it to the semi-finals or finals.

Conclusion: the general public genuinely likes and appreciates virtuoso / operatic singing when it's presented in a contemporary and relatable style. How can opera professionals capitalize on this for growth of the audience or modern development of the art?

Any ideas?
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul from Orlando
Jackie Evancho sings the Shepherd in Mr. Poppycock's met debut as Floria Tosca.
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe OC
Heh. Yeah, that'll pack them in....
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul from Orlando
In my little town I started an opera company with non-professional singers. We started with a full production of Hansel & Gretel and the community loved it. People who had never been to an opera before told us they now wanted to go to a "real" opera and keep asking us when we will be doing another full production. The littlest boy who was in the chorus said to his mother, "What do I have to look forward to now that the opera is over?" (She had to remind him that Christmas was in a couple of weeks.) We have been putting together thematic programs of arias and art songs and also did a scene program that everyone loved. Whenever someone says they don't like opera, I ask them how many they have been to. Invariably they say, "none." There hasn't been anyone yet who I haven't converted.

I really enjoy OperaNow! and I have learned a lot from "Oliver's Corner."
September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan in Chelmsford
Opera professionals shouldn't even try to capitalize on this pseudo operatic stuff - 'popera' - sorry. In all professions there are true artisans and cheap imitators. I have no doubt that in Mozart's time there were young kids playing music too loudly, trying to imitate the masters -- "Franz, turn that clavichord down, you're making a racket".

Opera doesn't need the love of the masses - it won't get it anyway. There is too much emphasis placed on riches and fame - I honestly don't believe that opera will die - it just might not ever be as popular is prince poppycock - and that's okay by me.
September 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermardix
I am not sure opera was ever really popular -- it was just well attended. I was reading a wonderful book last summer about castrati and all records from the past indicated that people went to the opera because it was one of the few entertainment options available. While at the opera people gambled, ate meals, played cards, read, etc. Very few actually listened and watched. There were always exceptions -- especially when the extremely famous singers were performing. I don't think opera will ever be popular with or have the "love of the masses". It requires too much effort.
October 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoberta