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Opera quotes & sayings

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If music in general is an imitation of history, opera in particular is an imitation of human willfulness; it is rooted in the fact that we not only have feelings but insist upon having them at whatever cost to ourselves. The quality common to all the great operatic roles, e.g., Don Giovanni, Norma, Lucia, Tristan, Isolde, Brunnhilde, is that each of them is a passionate and willful state of being. In real life they would all be bores, even Don Giovanni. - Wystan Hugh Auden


People are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what's wrong with it. - Sir Noel Coward


How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers. - Gioacchino Antonio Rossini


No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. - Wystan Hugh Auden


No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. - Wystan Hugh Auden


I do not mind what language an opera is sung in, so long as it is in an language I do not understand. - Sir Edward Appleton


So long as it doesn't get to the point where you don't remember whose opera you're listening to, I'm willing to experiment. - Beverly Sills


Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive. - Moliere [Jean Baptiste Poquelin]


I've known my lady (for she loves a tune) For fevers take an opera in June: And, though perhaps you'll think the practice bold, A midnight park is sov'reign for a cold. - Edward Young