Listening to opera music
by Cristina Gilda Artese
In the intricate art world you get used to listen.
Listen to artists talking about their work, listen to art critics who interpret the works and the aesthetics of the artists, listen to art collectors who loop you in on the resemblance of these artists to those artists and highlight the traits of one particular artist that they can see in this other artist…. you always have to listen in a frenzy of opinions, viewpoints, interpretations, exaggerations, ostentation… blah, blah, blah…
I want to encourage you to listen to opera music.
Silently, without saying a word, just as you do when listening to nature, with the same total and absolute simplicity of this innocent and naÃ¯ve approach, without trying to understand, judge or assess, but with the belief that you are in front of something absolutely unique and maybe — why not — special.
Special beyond the categories of the ugly and the beautiful, regardless if it looks the same or different from everything that had preceded it, unique or a copy of something else.
Listening to opera music letting the music take control, as it has decided to exist, above the artist who was only the means through which it has come to life, beyond what can be said about it and no matter how long it will survive and outlive us.
Listening without having to reply is something marvellous and incomparable. You don’t need to talk, there will be no debates and listening will be an end in itself.
Shape, colours, size, matter: everything that we see tells us something, or it could even communicate nothing, mean nothing, or carry within itself the nothingness — or better said the ineffableness.
Actually I think that listening is the expression of the cosmic nothingness, even more intriguing for certain aspects, as – by moving away from any rational and logical category — it educates and leads to what I dare to call “scattered fantasy of our mind”, completely liberating and cathartic, releasing from any pre-set or voluntary order.
I want to encourage you to listen to opera music in a haphazard, exceptional and sudden way, as sudden as its genesis could be, perhaps as the result of a long research or perhaps as the glorious offspring of some unforeseeable mistakes.
Illustration by Ortica