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Opera

  • If anything can be invented more excruciating than an English Opera, such as was the fashion at the time I was in London, I am sure no sin of mine deserves the punishment of bearing it.

  • An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.

  • Going to the opera, like getting drunk, is a sin that carries its own punishment with it, and that a very severe one.

    • Hannah More,
    • letter to her sister (1775), in William Roberts, ed., Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Mrs. Hannah More, vol. 1 ()
  • An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house. The audience sees only an excerpt.

    • Maria Callas,
    • in Arianna Stassinopoulos, Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend ()
  • Cathedrals are built with pennies of the faithful. A great opera house also is a spiritual center, a temple of sorts, where many gather together for recreation, education, and inspiration — a blessed trinity worthy of public support.

  • My voice had a long, nonstop career. It deserves to be put to bed with quiet and dignity, not yanked out every once in a while to see if it can still do what it used to do. It can't.

  • Opera is an extremely disciplined art form, and every excess a singer indulges in has a direct effect on the voice.

    • Beverly Sills,
    • in Beverly Sills and Lawrence Linderman, Beverly ()
  • I, for one, think opera should be subsidized by the Government as part of the social progress of a nation. This would take from it all class distinction and enable it to become a part of the main stream of American music.

  • Unhappy endings are, of course, de rigueur. A grand opera cannot have a happy ending — unless you consider it a happy ending when all the characters are too dead to sing any longer. Some do.

    • Katherine Dayton,
    • "Gypsies, Nobles, Peasants, Etc.," in Saturday Evening Post ()
  • It was the first operatic mountain I climbed, and the view from it was astounding, exhilarating, stupefying.

  • Opera is everything rolled into one — music, theater, the dance, color and voices and theatrical illusions.

  • [During an opera rehearsal:] No, no, no! You look like a couple of opera singers. You've got to look like lovers!

  • If you can sell green toothpaste in this country, you can sell opera.

  • Father ... was surprisingly happy with the opera. He slept much better, he claimed, than at the movies.

  • Opera offers the complete entertainment package; most of the arts and humanities — drama, music, dance, the visual arts, the literary arts, history, sociology, philosophy — in a spectacular combination that can spell the ultimate night out, deliver an emotional high, an incentive to intellectual exploration.

  • Like all the arts, opera exists because it meets some of humanity's deepest needs. Intensified by the power of music, serious opera deals with universals and strikes a chord at the profoundest levels of the human psyche.

  • No theatrical undertaking is so opulent, so complex, so all encompassing; none makes greater demands on performers and audiences; nowhere else are so many areas of virtuosity involved.