When something is unfamiliar or complicated, the more apt someone is to steer away from it. That is exactly what the members of the Glimmerglass Opera Guild do not want people to do when they think about going to see an opera performance.
Opera kind of has a bad reputation, according to Abby Kreh Gibson of the Guild’s Education and Outreach Program.
“You say opera, and most people have an attack of the vapors, you know and go blah,” she said. “Most do this even if they have never been. It is as a pre-unfair judgment if you ask me,” she added.
For Gibson, opera is like oxygen. It has been a big part of her life for so many years as she can recall going to her first one at the age of 10. However, for most, that is not the case.
Education is key, she explained. Once people know what to expect, or hear about the history behind what goes into it all, they usually become more interested and enthusiastic, Gibson said.
Susan Newman, communication chairwoman of the Gould, said there is so much that goes into putting on a performance that does not meet the eye. Having an understanding of how things are done can create a deeper appreciation, she said.
The Guild's Education Committee has planned varied ways to look at the upcoming Glimmerglass Festival season. For example, this will mark the 12th year of the Talking Opera Series, an overture of the season.
According to Mary Brodzinsky, the education committee chairwoman, the series is not just synapses or summaries of the upcoming season lineup, but include other elements of the opera experience such as production and costume.
“Our programs are so varied and are not the same old thing each year,” she said.