You won’t be alone at the opera

Opera Australia has a new scheme to tempt singles of all ages not to be ashamed to come alone.

Opera for One is not “Tinder for opera lovers” or a singles’ programme, says Opera Australia. It responds to a survey of 1100 first-time opera-goers and those who’d like to go but hadn’t that found more than one in five people surveyed didn’t attend because they had nobody to go with.

“It is not romantic in the slightest,” said John Quertermous, OA’s head of marketing and tourism. “It is more the idea that they’ll find an opera buddy. As a classical art company, we are always trying to get new people and a new audience.”

Read on here.

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  • Almost invariably, I go to concerts alone, principally at the Wigmore Hall, where I feel very welcome. I go to concerts to listen to music live, not to socialise (although I do sometimes speak to fellow audience-members, ushers, &c., especially if I already know them… it is a small world). Moreover, I prefer to make my own decisions as to which performances I wish to attend, without having to consult anyone else.

    • “Small world” means in my experience simply being recognized as regular and thus subject of subtle, unobtrusive socializing that takes away any weird feelings with going alone (which, by the way, has another advantage: you can almost always take that single seat left between the pair or group bookings).

      Thus I find it a bit sorry that there is a need for such a formalized program at all. It should, from the start, not have been a horrible experience for a widow to go again after her husband and she were long-standing subscribers. Did no one recognize her?

  • Sadly, the Sydney Morning Herald article says nothing about the young brunette beauty whose picture adorns this page. But I was baited and I clicked, so everything is fine! 🙂

  • Long, long ago, before the Intarwebs had been invented, I became a member of the Classical Music Lovers Exchange, a snail-mail dating service in NYC for those of us who went to concerts alone and wondered what it might be like to have company. Over a year or so, I met a few mildly interesting women who appeared to have an equally mild interest in me, slept with none of them, and finally decided it was okay after all to go to the opera or the concert hall alone. Music is so intensely personal, intimate by itself — I recall once going to see Arrau at CH and not being able to talk or interact with anyone for a full day after the concert.

    But it was a fascinating experience to have a physical mailbox regularly populated with names, phone numbers, and sometimes photos of women who had responded to the Exchange expressing interest in my published profile. And now it seems a delightfully primitive and daring thing to do…

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