On the eve of the Paris Opera's 350th anniversary, taking stock of the institution’s three-and-a-half-century history, its current activities and its future prospects, Stéphane Lissner reflects on opera today.
Asking “Why opera today?” he proposes to explore the reasons for this art form's longevity. In many respects, opera should have long since disappeared. Opera's demise has often been announced… And yet, it continues to amaze, stir passions, and divide.
Being physically present, seeing and hearing the virtuoso association of an orchestral score, a sung text and a visual universe that amplifies the work’s meaning, revealing unsuspected facets or updating it for modern audiences is something that continues to attract countless opera-goers. But what audience are we communicating with today, what passion moves them and what does opera offer them?
Resolutely modern and sustained by an openness towards the world from which it hails, opera proudly bears the standard of an intelligent, critical and innovative future.