I really cannot claim to be an opera afficionado. I'm not quite in the category of ardent devotee. I don't own any operatic CDs. I don't watch operatic productions on the public television station. But, I would consider myself an opera appreciator with a growing affection. The seed of affection was planted back in college when I had the opportunity to see La Boheme. Since then I have been fortunate enough to attend a handful of opera productions at various venues over the years (the challenge is usually finding someone who will go with me - apparently opera is not an easy thing to love).
It would be hard for anyone not to love the decadently rich sets and costumes typical of opera, but I also love the abstractness...the exagerration...the formal and somewhat ritualistic performances that are inherent in operatic productions.
Saturday I attended a showing of The First Emperor by Tan Dun at a local theater being broadcast live in HD from the New York Metropolitan Opera House. I had never done this, and in fact, didn't even realize this was an opera-viewing option. It was enjoyable if a little bit strange. Of course, live performances (of just about anything) are always more exciting, but I'll admit it was cool to be watching the opera live in real time as it was being performed in New York. And, it was highly amusing (or highly annoying according to the friend I went with) when audience members in Nashville applauded the performers.
Overall, it was enjoyable entertainment and managed to further expand my growing affection - maybe someday I'll be able to claim the title of afficionado.