The performing arts, or any art for that matter, are known for flourishing during times of economic depression or recession. The logic behind this phenomenon is that when times go from bad to worse, we need a distraction. While we still have television at our disposal, nothing is more interactively distracting or uplifting to our spirits like music, lights, color and performance all rolled into one.
Opera. Since opera first began, this performance art has been highly interactive with the audience. Actors would engage audience members in conversation, opinions and emotional reactions. Also, actors would sometimes come out into the audience and act in the aisles. Today, opera is performed from classic scripts and from modern prequels and sequels to some of the greats.
Appreciating the Opera. First, you should look up the synopsis or overview of the opera which you plan to see. Read the entire description. Next, memorize the names of the lead characters. Make note of any famous arias which will occur in the opera, and notice where they will appear. When arriving at the opera, read the additional notes found about the specific piece in your program. Make note of any guest singers or people who are visiting your town, being sure to give them a warm welcome afterwards to ensure their return to your lovely city. Lastly, sit back and enjoy the show.
Broadway Musicals. These pieces of art which involve live stage production and musical ensembles are massive and colorful events. Songs coming from Broadway musicals are catchy, contagious and are well-remembered for decades afterward. Broadway musicals are the modern day version of the classical opera. They engage the audience through various forms of interaction and frequently acting, singing and dancing is done in the all of the aisles. Broadway acts can travel the country as traveling shows. Also, they can be performed by local theatrical groups.
Appreciating Broadway Musicals. Many people know the basic storyline of most Broadway musicals. In addition to this, many musicals are made into movies, including Mama Mia! and Phantom of the Opera. This brings much more widespread recognition of the musical, as well as solidifying the storyline. Before you go to a Broadway musical, be sure and read the synopsis or storyline of the piece. Try to recall approximate ages if the cast of main characters is multi-generational, and remember the names of the leading characters as well as the secondary characters. Research which famous songs will be played in the musical and listen to these pieces of music before you go. Arrive early to find a good seat and get an assortment of snacks, if available, as the acts will be rather lengthy.
Symphony. Some of the younger generations may find the idea of going to the symphony to be archaic. They may picture little old ladies wrapped in furs and rusty, silent, old men nodding off to the music. This is simply not realistic, however. The symphony is a display of both classical and contemporary pieces which are practiced over and over to the point of perfection and which are performed by valiant artists who love their work. Cultural growth is an integral part of any society, no matter how sophisticated or laid-back it might be. Going to the symphony plants seeds of culture and appreciation in anyone.
Appreciating the Symphony. Most of the information you will need to gather will be present at the symphony itself. Arrive at least half an hour early in order to read the program ahead of time and not be rushed. Your local symphony program will have information about the composer, the time period in which the piece was composed, the circumstances surrounding the composition, and, of course, any interesting facts, ideas or tidbits related to these. If you are not a musician yourself, you may find it difficult to simply listen to the symphony without any information pertaining to the piece, and you may even find it boring. Reading up about the composer and background of the piece helps to hold it in your mind, appreciate it deeper and to identify lyrical phrases or movements within the piece.
Ballet. Ballet is an art form combining symphony and dancing. Ballet dancers are strong and muscular and combine this great strength with grace, beauty and fluidity of motion. Ballet can span a wide area of classical, contemporary and new age art forms, displaying dancers in traditional tutus or custom printed, sleek leotards, and ballet can show off quite a few different genres and styles of composers within the same night.
Appreciating the Ballet. To get the full experience out of attending a ballet performance, you must do more research than for the other art forms. Research the composer, his or her life story, and time period and country in which the ballet was composed. Then, look up the ballet, reading detailed descriptions of the story, and even perhaps watching parts of it done by other ballet companies which may be posted online. Bring binoculars or opera glasses to the ballet so that you can watch the dancers in detail and examine the storyline more intimately.
The performing arts in this day and age are widespread and varied. It is important to keep an open mind and expose yourself to as many different art forms and genres as possible. Season tickets are not mandatory, but they might be more cost effective in the end, if you plan on developing yourself to the fullest extent possible. Enjoy the tastes and color palette available to you and catch the next ticket.