Is opera exclusive?

Regular Marvels

For better or worse, opera sits at the symbolic summit of European culture. Those who love it see it as the greatest form because it contains all the others: drama, music, visual art, dance and poetry. Those who don’t, see it as unfairly privileged, the very expression of social and cultural elitism. That argument has raged for decades, with advocates of community art and opera entrenched in opposition over standards, value and politics. Of course, things have changed. The Royal Opera House is very different today to its 1970s incarnation. Like most cultural institutions, it has responded to the challenge of community art and the social change that produced it by developing education and outreach programmes. In doing so, it and other great opera houses have been assisted by the small companies and individual artists whose innovations with the form and commitment to inclusion have provided rich new talent and…

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