Myths about Opera | Welsh National Opera

Myths about Opera

So, what puts people off about opera? Too long, in a foreign language, too expensive, not relevant...

Tim Rhys-Evans, Music Director of Only Men Aloud, Only Boys Aloud and Only Kids Aloud began his career with WNO. He’s passionate about opera and as one of the great ambassadors of choral music, in this short video he wants to set the record straight.

Six myths about opera

1 – I won’t understand it
Opera is all about telling stories through music, so it’s important to know what is going on. Every performance is surtitled to help you do this, a translation of each line appears above the stage in English (and Welsh in our theatres in Wales). If you prefer to prepare in advance you can read the stories, watch opera guides and listen to the music on this site.

2 – It’s too expensive
A WNO ticket is often cheaper than most major sporting events, musicals and ballets. 

3 – You have to dress up
You certainly can dress up if you want to but there is no dress code for our performances. Dress how you want. If you want to make a night of it and dress in evening wear – that’s fine. If you want to wear t-shirt, jeans and trainers – that’s fine too.

4 – Opera is elitist
Welsh National Opera is committed to sharing the power of opera with everyone. We are dedicated to ensuring that no one is excluded from enjoying opera.

5 – It goes on too long
Some films last less than an hour and a half, some last up to four hours. The same applies to opera, there are some very short operas but there are also a few longer ones too. Most operas last not much longer than the typical Hollywood blockbuster and include intervals.

6 – What’s opera got to do with my life? It’s just not relevant
Opera is all about people, about their stories. It’s about the things we are faced with every day: loss, love, difficult choices and friendship. Opera has always been relevant to us because from its roots in 16th century Italy onwards – opera has always been about us and how we live our lives.