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Verdi’s Otello – Part III

This is a question and answer session. Opera is an acquired taste, it takes time and effort to learn and appreciate. It helps to see live productions to appreciate opera. Opera enjoyed it highest popularity in the nineteenth century because of its ability to appeal to emotion. But after World War I, opera began to fall in popularity due in part to the advent of cinema, but also, after the horrors of the war, open direct emotion was just not possible. The senses of the world were overwhelmed and there was no room for opera. Cinema became the new art form. Similar to a theater but without live actors, this curious entertainment captured audiences. Cinema at best is a second rate art. It is wholly dependent on technology. It is also the sole realm of the director who manipulates the scenes to show us exactly what he wants. Television is also manipulative. It is difficult to manipulate a book or a play. A book requires the active participation of the imagination to flesh out the words. A live stage production is direct interaction with the actors and the audience. The best art is active art, where we engage with the art.

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