Quotes Categories

Opera Quotes

A supreme social challenge.

Author: Cleveland Amory

Profession: American Animal Rights Activist

If music in general is an imitation of history, opera in particular is an imitation of human willfulness; it is rooted in the fact that we not only have feelings but insist upon having them at whatever cost to ourselves. The quality common to all the great operatic roles, e.g., Don Giovanni, Norma, Lucia, Tristan, Isolde, Brünnhilde, is that each of them is a passionate and willful state of being. In real life they would all be bores, even Don Giovanni.

Author: W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

Profession: Anglo-American Poet

No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.

Author: W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

Profession: Anglo-American Poet

Opera once was an important social instrument -- especially in Italy. With Rossini and Verdi people were listening to opera together and having the same catharsis with the same story, the same moral dilemmas. They were holding hands in the darkness. That has gone. Now perhaps they are holding hands watching television.

Author: Luciano Berio (1925)

Profession: Italian Composer

The Opera is obviously the first draft of a fine spectacle; it suggests the idea of one.

Author: Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696)

Profession: French Classical Writer

A Librettist is a mere drudge in the world of opera.

Author: Robertson Davies (1913)

Profession: Canadian Novelist, Journalist

I never was an opera fan -- about twenty-five musically supreme masterpieces in this curious medium apart.

Author: Hans Keller

Profession:

I love Italian opera -- it's so reckless. Damn Wagner, and his bellowings at Fate and death. Damn Debussy, and his averted face. I like the Italians who run all on impulse, and don't care about their immortal souls, and don't worry about the ultimate.

Author: D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

Profession: British Author

Opera in English, is about as sensible as baseball in Italian.

Author: H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Profession: American Editor, Author, Critic, Humorist

Going to the opera, like getting drunk, is a sin that carries its own punishment with it.

Author: Hannah More (1745-1833)

Profession: British Writer, Reformer, Philanthropist

I never can hear a crowd of people singing and gesticulating, all together, at an Italian opera, without fancying myself at Athens, listening to that particular tragedy, by Sophocles, in which he introduces a full chorus of turkeys, who set about bewailing the death of Meleager.

Author: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845)

Profession: American Poet, Critic, short-story Writer

How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.

Author: Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868)

Profession: Italian Composer

If I weren't reasonably placid, I don't think I could cope with this sort of life. To be a diva, you've got to be absolutely like a horse.

Author: Joan Sutherland

Profession:

The banging and slamming and booming and crashing were something beyond belief. [On Lohengrin]

Author: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Profession: American Humorist, Writer

I have always believed that opera is a planet where the muses work together, join hands and celebrate all the arts.

Author: Franco Zeffirelli

Profession: