There are four distinct types of the obsessed attendee:
There’s the hero, who believes he is keeping the opera house open and the art itself alive and vital.
There’s the addict, who is willing to sacrifice his families, friends, lovers, money, and sanity to attend multiple performances of the same opera, to listen to the records and attend lectures and travel to distant theaters.
There’s the nostalgic, for whom everything was better when it was sung by Maria Callas, or Joan Sutherland, or back in 1965, or back when people took pride in knowing about opera.
Then there’s the pilgrim, the devoted subject who treats the opera house as a religious temple.
– The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession by Claudio E. Benzecry
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.