Call me a philistine, but I have not been able to sit through an entire opera without nodding off or smirking. I just can’t seem to believe that the romantic leads—whose combined weight often tallies up to around a quarter of a ton—to be madly in love with each other when all they do is standing around and singing before waddling off somewhere to die.

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Perhaps the lavish sets and the sumptuous costumes are meant to distract the audience’s attention from the singer’s immobility and mass.

Opera is best when blaring out of the privacy of one’s home and the staging and singers’ physiques are left to one’s imagination.

(Left to right: Escamillo from “Carmen,” Brünnhilde from “Die Walküre,” and Canio from “Pagliacci.”)

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