The idea behind Opera For All, as the name suggests, is to make opera more accessible. We want to shake up the perception that the artform is stuffy, old fashioned, too expensive or incomprehensible and show that it can be enjoyed by anyone anywhere.
Opera can feel like it’s a closed shop – if you’re not already part of the cognoscenti then you never will be. We want to show that this isn’t the case. Opera can and should be enjoyed by everyone, from the avid fan to the first-time novice and all those in between; it’s our aim to help anyone get the most out of listening to, attending and just experiencing opera.
We will cover everything from traditional productions at the Royal Opera House in London to modern-day adaptations sung in English in the back rooms of pubs, concert halls and gin palaces up and down the country.
Opera For All is based in London and we’ll concentrate on opera within the UK. But we also plan to look at opera across the world, not just the Western world, but also the rich opera traditions found in China and Japan, the emergent artform in Africa and more.
Opera For All’s editor is Rebecca Armstrong who has almost 20 years’ experience in magazine publishing, both online and in print. A trained flautist, she has loved all kinds of music for as long as she can remember.
She commented: “When I was younger I felt that opera simply wasn’t ‘for me’. I didn’t know the stories, I couldn’t understand the languages and whenever I tried to learn more I couldn’t find the information I needed. When it came to opera, I was on the outside trying to look in through frosted glass.
“Opera For All is for anyone who has ever been even the slightest bit curious about opera but never found the information they were looking for. But it will also appeal to opera fans who just want to know more about the artform.”
In his book Opera 101, author and opera expert says that the best way to come to know opera is to ask a knowledgeable friend, well Opera For All aims to be that friend.