To be an opera composer, Aaron Copland wrote, "The urge has to be so strong that because of some inner drive, little else in music attracts you--and then you are an honest-to-God opera composer. I am not such." My generation doesn't believe it. Opera has become the bull's-eye of one's career trajectory, the way you prove yourself. Eventually, it seems, all composers write their inevitable operas the way 19th-century tonesmiths did their oratorios--oratorios that are hardly ever performed today, one might note. And too often, opera's prestige blinds musicians to its vast differences from regular music. When it does, bad opera happens... More >>>