In Sunday’s Washington Post, there’s a big emphasis on operatic emotions.
So you want to be an opera fan -- or create one. The sociologist Claudio Benzecry spent years studying opera fans in Buenos Aires and observed that their love of opera happened just the way other forms of love do — through an experience that made them want to keep going back for more. Not through reading up on it or going to lectures about it. I discuss Benzecry’s book along with a well-meaning tome called “Opera” that’s designed to deepen opera-lovers’ love, and conclude that Benzecry is right. Opera fans are like sports fans; you get into it, and you start to learn about it, and pretty soon you’re reeling off stats with the rest of them.
Katherine Boyle, meanwhile, explores the real-life operatic tragedy of a great love and untimely death: the story of Peter Lieberson’s “Neruda Songs,” written for his wife Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, which the National Symphony Orchestra is playing this week. (Boyle also offers some ideas about where to buy musical instruments cheap in this week’s Deal Hunter column.)
Earlier this month, the Post ran two stories of interest to violin fans: David Schoenbaum wrote about Dietmar Machold, a violin dealer on trial for fraud; and Amanda Abrams wrote about the violin maker Howard Needham.