A&E Abroad: Christopher Skinner on opera in Vienna

Skinner explores Viennese opera during his term abroad.  Photo courtesy of ChristopheSkinner explores Viennese opera during his term abroad.

Skinner explores Viennese opera during his term abroad.

By Christopher Skinner, for The Lawrentian

Before I studied abroad with IES Vienna Fall 2012, I was strongly interested in opera, studying it for my major at Lawrence, seeing live performances when I could and watching DVDs or listening to CDs. I had, however, only seen three productions live—two of which were relatively unimpressive—prior to my study abroad.

Living in Vienna for four months suddenly gave me the opportunity to increase the number of live operas I’d seen from three to 30. While many of the operas were less standard repertoire—there were some glaring holes like “Tosca” or “Le nozze di Figaro” in my experiences—there could have been no better true introduction to the art form. It was both an experience to enjoy and cherish and also a great primer on how to evaluate opera and understand what I felt made a show “work.”

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