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date: 09 February 2023


  1. I do not mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don't understand.
    Edward Appleton 1892–1965 English physicist: in Observer 28 August 1955
  2. No opera plot can be sensible, for in sensible situations people do not sing. An opera plot must be, in both senses of the word, a melodrama.
    W. H. Auden 1907–73 English poet: in Times Literary Supplement 2 November 1967
  3. People are wrong when they say that the opera isn't what it used to be. It is what it used to be—that's what's wrong with it.
    Noël Coward 1899–1973 English dramatist, actor, and composer: Design for Living (1933)
  4. Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.
    Ed Gardner 1901–63 American radio comedian: in Duffy's Tavern (US radio programme, 1940s)
  5. An exotic and irrational entertainment, which has been always combated, and always has prevailed.
    of Italian opera
    Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: Lives of the English Poets (1779–81) ‘Hughes’
  6. An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.
    Edith Wharton 1862–1937 American novelist: The Age of Innocence (1920) bk. 1, ch. 1