Opera needs a small revolution. We live in the world of internet, a world of speed: without taking anything away from the great composers we must try to renew the directing style, eliminate repeats in the music, without, obviously, touching the music itself or the dramaturgy.”
This is Katia Ricciarelli’s solution for enticing young people to the world of opera. She was talking at a press conference in Torgon, Switzerland, before her concert yesterday.
Speed it up? Cut out the repetitions? A solution? Maybe even “young people” find in opera a welcome break from the freneticism of modern life. Maybe young people are grateful for a space where the pace is slower, a moment where reflection is possible.
Art galleries have record (mainly young) crowds and not only for the video installations, but for the 16th century masters. Why? Yoga classes are full. Why? Neither are exactly whizzing along at internet speed.
Maybe we just need to keep those musical repetitions, prolong the inevitable finale, and allow a long outward breath of calm before the fury. Maybe it just helps to keep us a little more sane. Oh yes, and during the opera we have to turn off our cell phones too! Bliss…
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.