1) You can afford it.
One of the biggest misconceptions most of us have about the opera is that it is expensive. Honestly, elaborate productions with stunning sets, delicately crafted costumes, imaginative lighting, created by an all star team of creative individuals and performed by musicians who have dedicated their lives to producing the most beautiful sounds possible… things can get quite pricy on the production end. Fortunately as an audience member, you can see this all for the price of a couple of cocktails. Become a Boston Lyric Opera PRIMA member for free and get $35 tickets to any and all shows. Too much for you? Try one of their free outreach concerts. Boston Opera Collaborative, Opera Hub, and Opera on Tap also regularly produce shows that are free and open to the public.
2) Support local artists.
That’s right, your ticket prices go to supporting jobs for Bostonians. In addition to the orchestra and the singers onstage, there are stage managers, production managers, rigging, sound, lighting, costume, technical directors, and each of these departments have sub-categories. Check out our recent blog post “we live among you.”
We all have heard the benefits of powering down for a short time every day, but it is becoming increasingly difficult. Try turning off your phone for a few hours to tune into epic story lines and beautiful music. Performing un-amplified, singers and instrumentalists are unplugged as well.
4) Eye Candy.
Think project runway meets Verdi. As the curtain goes up the audience gasps and bursts into applause. A team of costume and set designers has been working for months to craft a visual experience to match a sumptuous score. Richard Wagner often used the phrase Gesamtkunstwerk to describe Opera as a synthesis of the arts.
5) The Music
We at Opera on Tap like to call it “High Proof,” and nothing compares to the sound of a full professional orchestra under the baton of a highly experienced, talented and hard working conductor. Most of the time Opera on Tap brings the music to your local pub in a piano reduction, where the orchestral score has been ‘reduced’ for one player. We like to think of ourselves as a gateway to the concert hall. Whether you are aware of it or not, you have been surrounded by opera music your while life — from childhood cartoons, to airline commercials, to the imitative strains of modern film composers. It is high time you heard opera up-close and personal in all of its live glory.
We walk among you, and you may not even know it.
We’re next to you at a hockey game screaming at the refs, we’re posting selfies to Instagram and passing you on the running path, we’re swiping you one way or the other on Tinder and fighting you for a place in the checkout line at Ikea. We’re sitting next to you at the bar pounding a drink. Or several. We are Opera Singers.
For some of you this will come as no surprise, but many others have never had the opportunity to stumble across the thriving community of young adult classical performers who lead perfectly normal urban lives but just happen to sing really epic music for a living. And this is the mission of Opera on Tap: to bring this epic music, sung by these fun and down-to-earth people, to anyone and everyone. We love opera and it often gets a bad rap. Myths and misconceptions swirl around the art form, like the notions that it is hoity-toity, uber-expensive, or boring. Come to an Opera on Tap show and watch these negative connotations melt away. Sip a cocktail and enjoy a multi-course meal as a baritone serenades you across a restaurant, or swig an IPA at the pub as a soprano throws back a shot of whiskey and gets up in your face for some cabaret-style fun. We put divas in dive bars and the overwhelming feedback from patrons as they shift from bewilderment to ruddy-faced enjoyment is that, hey, opera’s alright after all. We see Opera on Tap as a sort of gateway drug to the world of classical music as a whole, and we can’t wait to get you hooked at our next show.
With this blog, we’ll post about awesome upcoming shows and events throughout the greater Boston area. There will be giveaways, contests, polls and games. There will be info about our super-talented performers, the rockin’ venues that host our shows, and the booze-makers whose wonderful products help break down the inhibitions of our artists and audience members alike. There may be cool guest posts or interviews with opera notables. If we’re bored we’ll likely muse on various topics relevant to classical singers and viewers (and drinkers). Like, what exactly is “Tessatura,” an obscure Terry Gilliam film or a fancy word for the melting point of chocolate? Or, why can’t I drink wine before/during auditions? Or perhaps a discussion of the pros and cons of using a vibrator to massage your vocal chords.
In any event, welcome to “opening night” of Bel Canto on the Rocks, the Opera on Tap blog. To rework the recognizable misquote about opera, “it ain’t over until we all have a bunch of drinks and sing some mind-blowing music then stumble home.”