Why I am at the Opera Tonight

(La Boheme is my example this evening, because it is the first opera I ever loved)

1. Because I love La Boheme.

2. Because I’ve been a subscriber for thirty years.

3. Because my girlfriend just broke up with me, and La Boheme always makes me cry, and I need a good cry.

4. Because I’d given up on productions of La Boheme after seeing five dull ones, but I hear this one is really something.

5. Because my favourite singer is in it.

6. Because my friend from music school is in it.

7. Because I think it will impress my date if I take her someplace where she’ll feel slightly intimidated.

8. Because my date loves the opera and I need him to think I love it too.

9. Because I am obsessed with Phantom of the Opera and would love to see a real live opera.

10. Because I was saying to Ginny the other day, isn’t it silly that we live three blocks away from the opera house and we’ve never been?

11. Because I’m obsessed with opera and see everything I can, whether it’s a student production of The Magic Flute or The Ring Cycle set in colonial Hong Kong.

12. Because I could never sit through any of that modern trash but I just love Puccini.

13. Because I’m trying to convert my friend to opera and I think this will be the perfect “foist.”

14. Because my 10-year-old nephew is singing that line about wanting the toy trumpet.

15. Because my company got some comp tickets and it’s the perfect place to take that new client.

16. Because I desperately want somewhere to wear my new silk dress.

17. Because I work for the opera company and am taking full advantage of the free and cheap tickets.

18. Because I work for the opera company and attend out of a sense of obligation.

19. Because I work for the opera company and it’s better to see the show than twiddle my thumbs for an hour between the pre-show and the intermission.

20. Because my opera-loving friend assures me I’ll like this one, really, the music is very pretty and romantic and it’s a classic love story and it’s short. And she came to see my boyfriend’s band play so I owe her one.

21. Because I’m in the city for the very first time and try to go to the opera in as many cities as I can, in order to educate myself.

22. Because I think this young singer might be on her way to a good career if she plays her cards right, and I want to see how she handles this role.

23. Because I want to see this very-famous-but-getting-long-in-the-tooth singer before he retires.

24. Because since leaving University I feel like I’m getting dull and boring, and want to keep my cultural appreciation skills sharp. I used to read Spenser, dammit! I’ve got to prove I’m still capable of enjoying something other than Real Housewives!

25. Because I think it’s important to support the arts.

26. Because I think it’s important to support this tiny opera company, even if their standards aren’t as high as the big organizations.

27. Because I’ve only ever been to the opera at my mediocre regional company, and traveled to the big city just to get a taste of what great singing sounds like.

28. Because I think my kid will benefit from being exposed to it.

29. Because my kid has suddenly gone opera-mad and has been begging me for months to take her.

30. Because I wanted the chance to see the inside of this building.

31. Because all my friends will be there.

32. Because someone I really want to meet will be there (I think I’ve even figured out what section she’ll be sitting in).

33. Because I just turned 29 and realized I’ll only be able to get the cheap tickets for one more year.

34. Because I”m in music school and need to beef up on my knowledge to keep up with my classmates.

35. Because I’m in school and have a desperate crush on the professor who organizes the departmental tickets and I want to impress him with my cultural literacy.

36. Because the paper gave it a good review and the photos they ran looked pretty.

37. Because the director has a very interesting concept and I want to see how it plays out.

38. Because “che gelida manina” is on my CD of “20 most romantic opera arias.”

38. Because no matter how many times I hear “che gelida manina,” it still thrills me.

39. Because I think “che gelida manina” is overrated but I love “donde lieta.”

40. Because I just started taking singing lessons and my teacher suggested it might be a good “aspirational” outing.

41. Because my friend had an emergency and was giving away her tickets, and I thought, what the hell, why not.

42. Because it’s a stop on my five-city, ten-night opera tour, and though I really do prefer Wagner, you can’t help what winds up in the package.

43. Because I’m bent on seeing every single performance by my diva assoluta (and hopefully work my way into her good graces). I save money by buying standing room and afterwards I wait for her by the stage door.

44. Because there’s a dearth of good musical theatre to go to, and someone said Sweeney Todd was kind of like opera, and I love Sweeney Todd so it seemed worth a shot.

45. Because usually I go to the ballet but their season doesn’t start for another month, and I wanted a night out.

46. Because my girlfriend’s irritating brother is staying with us and I desperately needed a reason to get out of the house.

47. Because last time I saw this production someone was unwrapping a cough candy during Musetta’s Waltz, which I wanted to hear more than anything. This time I bought a box seat.

48. Because I need somewhere to go with my secret lover and I know I won’t run into anyone we know at the opera.

49. Because I was walking past the rush line this morning and felt that anything with that long of a line must be worth going to, so I thought “why not be spontaneous” and got in the line myself.

50. Because I would rather be at the opera than anywhere else.


  1. Andy Clarke

    51) Because I’d had a long, a late and a very boozy lunch and wanted to stay out a little longer.
    (My very true reason for an impulse ticket purchase for the same evening when walking past the Elgin a few years ago. It was to see Opera Atelier for the first time, and despite watching a lot of the performance with one eye shut to maintain my inebriated focus, it was the start of a love affair which continues to this day).