This thread is for whatever little snippet people want to discuss; curious facts, pet peeves, little rants, funny events, humor, etc.
I've heard a couple of times that our site is too high brow and intimidating. It shouldn't be so. For one thing, we *never* belittle any member for the occasional less informed opinion (oh well, I should rather say *almost never* but if it ever happens - since people here, like everywhere else in life, are fallible human beings who are entitled to having bad days and being snappy from time to time - our moderation team is ready to redirect things to more positive behavior).
In addition to this, our expert members are more than happy to provide gentle guidance to beginners - we're friendly folks here. Better proof, out of our almost 5,000 posts, our moderation team had to intervene so far, I don't know, some 3 times! That's less than 1 harsher post in 1,000!!! This is proof of our members' high standards of behavior, which is not what we see in many other Internet venues. I think our moderation team in all my decades of Internet activities is probably the one I've seen with the least to do... since it is so rare to run into bad behavior here at Opera Lively!
Even the members with the most expertise were beginners at some point in time, and there is no shame in it, much the opposite. While we do have some members who are opera scholars and musicians, most of us are just regular opera lovers, and there is plenty of storage space in our server so that the high brow and the lighter content can perfectly co-exist.
So, you have some chit-chat about opera that you'd want to share, but you weren't doing it because you thought Opera Lively was too serious?
Nope. We want to be... lively. So bring it on! I'll start. True story, I swear.
I was in a party yesterday. Some people I was meeting for the first time asked me what I do for a living. I replied with a description of my "day job" but added - you know, I have a sort of second career although it's not for profit; I've been getting into opera journalism.
People then were curious to know more and I told them about Opera Lively and some of the journalistic content we've been publishing. They asked if we had interviewed any famous people.
I said, "as a matter of fact, yes, our various staff members have had access to some rather big names in opera and we've published interviews with them; some short, some long."
Who? - they asked.
I said - Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Florez, Anna Netrebko, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Sir Thomas Allen, Iain Paterson...
Blank looks. Short silence. A guy says - oh, these I don't know. You haven't interviewed the most famous one of them all.
Me - And that would be?
Guy - Andrea Bocelli.
Me, shocked (I should have seen it coming - but since this was a gathering of rather educated professionals, I was hoping for something like Renee Fleming or Placido Domingo or at least Pavarotti if the guy didn't know that he's dead) - Erm... that one isn't an opera singer. He sings opera arias on microphone, and not very well.
Guy - Get out of here! He's the best!!!
Me - Why so?
Guy - Because I paid 400 bucks to see one of his shows. He's gotta be the best if he can command this kind of ticket price.
Me - You know, the best seats at the Metropolitan Opera House to see some of the people I've named cost $1,000 and up...
Guy - Really? What a rip-off! Why would someone pay $1,000 to see some unknown person if they can pay $400 to see the best one, Bocelli?
Me - Erm... because the ones I mentioned are better singers, and the real thing, able to sing a 3-hour opera on stage without amplification?
More blank looks. I realize that I am on the edge of being considered a weirdo and a snob. So I add:
OK, whatever, people like what they like, that's fine. By the way, who do you all think will win the Super Bowl, the Giants or the Patriots?
The group relaxes, and jumps happily on predictions that Tom Brady will lose to Eli Manning again, or else the Pats will succeed and have their revenge with this rematch after the upset a few years back...
Meanwhile, I think to myself - "I just hope they won't get Mr. Bocelli to sing the Star Spangled Banner before the big game..."