Opera fan urges campaign to dress up for the art form
Take a good look at what you've got on and ask yourself a simple question: Does this outfit match the event? Would Rosa Ponselle be pleased to see me dressed like this?
I got an interesting email on the topic of attire that I thought was well worth sharing.
Now don't jump to conclusions or start ranting about elitism. Hear the guy out:
My wife and I were longtime season ticket holders for the Baltimore Opera Company and were very disappointed when they went belly-up a few years back. We then became season ticket holders for BSO and have generally been pleased with their performances and really appreciate Marin Alsop and her style.
We are, however, disappointed at the continued level of dressing down for formal concerts. Even at the Baltimore Opera, attendees’ dress code was going downhill toward the end.
Well, it is now 2011 and opera is back starting November 4 with La Traviata by Lyric Opera Baltimore. Hooray!
The purpose of this e-mail is to ask you to start a campaign to make Lyric Opera Baltimore GRAND OPERA. I said that if opera came back I was going to get a tux, and I have done so. I am hoping that you can get the word out for opera lovers to dress UP not DOWN for Grand Opera. I hope I am not the only one with a tuxedo on November 4.
Personally, I am of two minds about the issue Jim has raised.
I do get a little tired of seeing the super-casual, occasionally downright trashy, fashion sense of some opera- or concert-goers, and not just in Baltimore. I do think that going at least a little above the level of lounging or recreation attire is appropriate and can actually make you feel better about the event you're attending. This doesn't mean formal wear, of course, just tasteful, respectful wear.
On the other hand, I want anyone and everyone to enjoy symphony, opera, theater, so I'd hate to make folks feel they don't belong if they're not dressed up.
But I love Jim's enthusiasm for such a good old-fashioned cause. There is something special about the arts, and when the genre in question is grand opera, it doesn't seem unreasonable to ask for a touch of style in the audience. So I hope Jim spots a few other tuxedos in the Lyric Opera House Nov. 4. (I might be inclined to join him, but my tux somehow shrank while it was in the closet.)