What Should First Opera Goers See at the Arizona, Canadian, Seattle and Houston Grand Operas in 2017-18?

By Francisco Salazar

The Arizona, Seattle, Canadian and Houston Operas have announced their 2017-18 seasons with a variety of operas to see. For the experienced opera goers the choices are not so hard as they have already seen most of the selections but for newcomers who have seen one or no operas before it may be hard to choose what opera to see. A wrong choice can be detrimental to the person ever returning to the opera but a right choice can be life changing. As a result, OperaWire recommends the following for first timers.

Houston Grand Opera 

The Houston Grand Opera is presenting seven operas this season and it is a stellar lineup with a great variety of repertoire. However, for the first timer, Bernstein’s “West Side Story” is the best choice. The opera is a mix between musical and opera and has become popular on Broadway. It was also made popular when it was adapted into a movie that ended up winning the Oscar for Best Picture. The combination of rich and recognizable melodies with the story based on “Romeo and Juliet” and a new theatrical production will make for an unforgettable experience at the Opera.

Canadian Opera 

Sometimes first time opera goers aren’t interested in crying or seeing people die. They are more interested in having fun and laughing. After all the majority of musicals on broadway have happy endings. This season the Canadian Opera in Toronto will show Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love,” a comedy that is not only filled with numerous laughs but is also filled with memorable melodies. It is also a simple love story that can easily engage young audiences as well as older audiences. In this new production, the opera will make a twist on the well known Cinderella story as a poor and uneducated young man dreams of winning the heart of a rich, clever and beautiful woman.

Seattle Opera 

For those in Seattle, newcomers will also have a chance to laugh in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” Not only is it one of opera’s comedic masterpieces but it is an opera that has  been used in pop culture throughout. The opera’s overture and aria “Largo al Factotum” has been used in “Looney Tunes,” “The Simpsons,” “Seinfeld” and even in “The Little Rascals.” As a result, when audiences walk into the auditorium for the first time, they will be glad to hear recognizable melodies. And if audiences are expecting old fashioned costumes, Seattle has a colorful 1960s production that is sure to inspire new audiences.

Arizona Opera

Like in Seattle, “The Barber of Seville” is a perfect choice for next season’s Arizona Opera. Not only is the opera a timeless gem but it is perfect for the family and one that will definitely incite laughter and joy. If the experience is wonderful it may audience members may come out of the opera whistling or humming some of the memorable tunes.