Opera doesn’t only happen in opera houses.
Don’t get me wrong — I love opera houses. When I lived in Italy, I embarked upon my own personal “Opera House Tour,” visiting famous opera houses from Milan to Palermo. I have nothing against sweeping staircases, painted ceilings, gilded ornamentation, glittering chandeliers and plush velvet seats. The acoustics in many opera houses are wonderful. And there is a special joy in singing to a house full of opera lovers!
But opera is a thriving and dynamic art form; it cannot be contained! People are singing opera everywhere these days: on lakes, in parking garages, and in Swedish living rooms. Travis Pratt even sings Rossini in elevators.
Personally, I love to sing outdoors. Some of my favorite concerts have been outside: on a Hawaiian beach, in a friend’s backyard, in the middle of the Sequoia National Forest, and in the courtyard of an ancient museum in Nepal. I occasionally sing while kayaking and parasailing.
For me, there is something thrilling about singing to the ocean. Last week, I went beach camping with my family near Santa Barbara. It was a wonderful vacation, but I didn’t really have anywhere to sing. So one afternoon, I hiked up on a a little cliff and sang Gershwin to the sea: “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…” It felt great to sing in the open air. And at the end of my aria, I was rewarded with applause from the beach below! My audience consisted of 1 snorkeler, 2 kayakers, a few hikers, and several seagulls. Spontaneous concerts can be fun.
Opera is everywhere. 🙂