Contributed by Maxine G.


When my parents brought me home from the hospital, one of the first things my father did was hold me in his arms and play an Enrico Caruso record. While I did not remember my introduction to opera, I grew up listening to opera everyday. As time went by, much to my father’s dismay, I leaned more towards heavy metal in my music preferences. But maybe opera influenced me as both types of music involve some “screaming.”

As I grew older, I began to appreciate opera.  I started listening to it on my own, watched some operas on Public Television and even attended a few times at The Met.  It had been years since I attended an opera when a friend invited me to see Séance on a Wet Afternoon, his treat!  It was fantastic and very suspenseful! The set was an amazing house that moved around allowing the audience to see the activity from all the sides. I had forgotten what a magnificent spectacle the opera can be and I decided I had to find a way to go to the opera more often, starting with my favorite operas: La Traviata and Carmen.

  • La Traviata is the story of a courtesan who falls in love.  In order to save her lover’s reputation and preserve his happiness, she breaks up with him. He leaves angrily only to return to her deathbed to ask for forgiveness.  She dies of consumption in his arms.
  • Carmen is the story of a seductive woman who toys with the local soldiers.  One captures her interest but she later tires of him and sends him packing. He later confronts her but she refuses his advances and tosses the ring he gave her to the floor. In anger, he kills her. The classic ‘If I can’t have you no one can’ response.

Going to The Met is an expensive proposition but I recently learned about some options that it make it more affordable.  As the 2012-2013 Season gets started, I am hopeful that I will see a few operas including my all-time favorites!

What is your favorite opera? We invite you join the conversation and share your ideas in the box below.