Opera makes you laugh, makes you feel like you're in love, makes you question the philoshopical essance of the world (Hello Wagnerians).. Believe it or not, opera changes you; makes you a different person. So here is the essential life lessons that I dedicted from many many many operas. For the sake of the dead heroine, just hear what I'm about to say :)
1) Communicate with each other for crying out loud.
It's completely understandable if you are going really angry with misunderstandings that's used very often in opera plots. Sometimes it makes a mess between lots of characters and used as a comedy element; and sometimes it's a small miscommunication that breaks our romantic couple. If there's anything I learn from La Traviata, just ask your lover about the letter rather than connecting dots yourself. Don't assume anything, just have a itsy bitsy trust to your partner :)
2) Don't trust everything you hear immediately. Just question it once in a while, investigate for the sake of the audience.
There's something called 'hearsay'.. Don't let yourself a character in a Otello. Just question it, investigate it, have a trust in someone who's worthy of it. Noone wants to end up like Lucia Lammermoor; misunderstandings leading to insanity to an innocent woman, right?
3) You don't need 'drama' to have an audience.
I have one opera for you to prove this: La Boheme. It's just real life. Their love isn't perfect: there's jealosy, a guy who pushes you away.. A woman who prefers money to love. Couple of artists who are not successful.. A girl who dies just like that; even music doesn't realize it. But it's the most staged opera every season. Every year thousands of audience go to see an excerpt from real life. You don't need to exaggerate anything to get attention. Just be yourself. You will be noticed.
4) Your sacrifices will not be appreciated, like, most of the time.
La Traviata: Violetta sacrificed her love for the sake of Alfredo's sister. What did she get in return? Humiliated in front of everyone by Alfredo.
Il Trovatore: Leonora drank a bottle of poison to save Monrico, he gets mad at her instead of thanking her.
Der Rosenkavalier: Marschallin risked her status for Octavian just for him to fall in love with another girl.
Rusalka: You gave up your voice to be with a prince you adore and prince just ignores you because you're 'too quite and cold'...
5) Tangles will be resolved eventually, just don't take it seriously, you'll be fine.
Your life is so complicated? You have a lot of problems? Would you believe me if I say everything will turn out okay eventually? No? I have some examples for you: Cosi Fan Tutte, The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Falstaff, Don Pasquale, The Pearl Fishers, The Magic Flute.. Maybe your lover fell in love with your best friend, maybe your boss tried to take advantage of you, your uncle doesn't inherit you his money, your lover-to-be is a captive.. If these somehow find their way to happy ending, yours will also ve resolved eventually. Just believe in yourself.
6) You can't control your children's life forever.
Even Giogio Germont saw her wrongdoing in the end.. Trying to control every aspect of your child's life will only make her/him more misesable. Just teach him/her well and than let it go a little. Otherwise, you will be like Don Pasquale, and your children will teach you a lesson.
7) Enjoy your 'brindisi' moments to the fullest while it lasts.
Yes, life should be all about drinking songs, don't you agree? Let raise our glasses more often, before a tragedy comes our way. And when that happens, we talked about what we should do in #5.
8) People change. Even if they are not aware of it.
We are changing. Admit it or not. But I saw Eugene Onegin becoming someone else in the end. Even Don Jose was surprised who he became in the end. Yes, don't expect anyone to change. But they will change.
9) Don't do a philosophy overdose; you will be lost in it. It didn't turn out well for Tristan, it won't be for you as well.
If you agree with Schopenhauer in that we will never be satisfied in life because our desires will never end, well, that's pretty pessimistic of you. Tristan and Isolde discussed night and day (light & dark) all the way through the second act; and found the solution in dying. Let's just not dive into this too much maybe?
10) Same story can be told and perceived differently in different stagings. If you can't change your story, just change your setting.
Stagings can move a story to different timeline, different place or altar its meaning all together with small touches. A small change in setting; and maybe whole thing is a dream, maybe Mimi is a heroin addict, maybe sea monsters in Idomeneo is actually a global warming's consequences.. If you cannot change your stroryline; just change the setting: it will make a world's difference. Trust me, I wrote a thesis on this :)
A magical city... Salzburg ! It is a small city in Vienna, famous with its views.. But I can't describe the feeling when you are there at the time of Salzburg Festival ! A city full of famous musicians, music lovers traveled from all around the world, and the newest opera productions that will be discussed for a long time after their premiere... The most excited trip of my life, I can say.
Other than being and witnessing to that magical productions, let's see what else is there for musicians.