Applause during Opera
Greatly looking forward to Tosca from Covent Garden on Christmas Eve, one of my all-time favourite operas. But I prefer to listen to it as a studio recording, on CD.
Why? Because I will be spared the inevitable applause from the audience after the main arias. To me, it completely breaks the spell, and reduces Operatic performance to a cabaret turn. It happens nowhere else- the audience for Hamlet do not break out into applause at the end of "To be or not to be..", however finely delivered. It may be appropriate in, say, Rossini, or Donizetti- or even Verdi- for arias which vocal virtuosity is highlighted, but in the case Puccini, an outbreak of clapping and "bravos" at the end of "Vissi d'arte", for example, is to my ears at least, completely out of place.
Applause should be saved for the end of the act.
It's one of the attractions of Wagnerian opera that the nature of the music does not allow for it. Can you imagine loud clapping at the end of Alberich's Curse? Or the Love Duet from Tristan?
This is one operatic convention that I would like to see consigned to the history books. I shall watch Tosca on Christmas Eve- but with one finger poised over the mute button.
Last edited by Mr Pee; 10-12-11 at 09:14.
Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.