If there were ever a "Beginner's Opera", I think the COC's production of CINDERELLA could be it.
It had all the talent, arias and shouts of "Bravo!" that make the Opera such a unique experience, AND, best of all, if you're intimidated by Opera, as many are, CINDERELLA is a good show to start with.
I started going to Opera when I was 25 and before that I had ZERO interest in the genre. I don't sing (although wish that I could), I don't play a musical instrument (although wish that I could) and I don't know a damn thing about classical music (although wish that I did) and, well, isn't Opera full of an audience of intellects who will mock someone as low-brow as moi? The short answer is: Yes, it is. Mostly.
But who cares?
The COC provides talks before each show that provide history and context to the production, thus making you more informed and able to participate in small talk with a fellow audience-member.
This music of Rossini's is light and fun and toe-tappy (I was toe-tapping for most of the show) so even if you don't play an instrument or understand a classical musical score, this music makes one glad they have ears and a feel for rhythm.
You already know the story so you don't have to wrack your brain to figure out who is in love with who and why, all while reading subtitles and watching the action on stage; and it's funny! So you can laugh, listen, love and toe-tap all while being at the Opera amongst the Four Seasons splendour.And once that Prince Charming belts out about his love for Cinderella and how he is determined to find her, it won't matter that you don't speak Italian or know when Rossini wrote the music or when the Opera was first produced and why, you'll just know that his voice gave you goose bumps and that's about as high-brow of a reaction as one can get at the theatre.
If you're a seasoned Opera-goer, CINDERELLA is a great excuse to see a fun Opera Buffa! (which means comedic Opera; use it in a sentence and astound your friends!)