Here Comes the Show Boat! Broadway musical? Or opera in disguise?

Q: When is an opera not an opera?

A: When it's a Broadway show.

Q: Then when is a Broadway show not a Broadway show?

A: When it's an opera.

Q: So how do you tell the difference?

A: That's a tough question.

These days, a very tough question. For too long "opera" has been narrowly + defined as what goes on at the Metropolitan Opera House; a rigid distinction between art and entertainment, fervently defended by a musical flat-earth society, has denied audiences the riches that lie beyond the narrow shoals of the classical repertoire. Today, though, singers and conductors...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!