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How is an Opera Like a Game of Football? Classicalite Knows the Answer...

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Aug 30, 2013 06:04 PM EDT | Louise Burton

How is an Opera Like a Game of Football? Classicalite Knows the Answer...

The Santa Fe Opera is the unlikely setting for an activity more often seen at U.S. football games. (Photo : Robert Godwin)

Now that football season has officially started in the U.S., many opera lovers may feel dejected at the thought of being subjected to games that stretch on for hours.

After all, in football, the seconds can last for minutes. And the minutes can turn into awful quarters of an hour...oh, wait, that's what Rossini said about Wagner operas. 

Nevertheless, Classicalite has compiled some instances of what happens when the cultures of opera and football collide, as they did at the Santa Fe Opera this summer.

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It seems there is a tradition there of opera tailgating. Because there aren't many restaurants 7,000 feet up in the mountains, many opera goers break out their own wine and cheese for parties in the parking lot.

This video shows how it's done.

And then there are opera singers like Keith Miller, who really know what it means to tackle an aria. Miller sings with the Metropolitan Opera, but used to be a star fullback who played in two bowl games with the University of Colorado.

Other opera singers who have made the switch include: Baritone Lawrence Harris, who was a lineman with the NFL's Houston Oilers; Ta'u Pupu'a, a former lineman with the Cleveland Browns; erstwhile Harvard players Ray Hornblower and Noah Van Niel and Morrison Robinson, who played football for The Citadel.

Finally, there's an opera ABOUT football, although not American football. 

Ingerland, written by Jocelyn Pook, a theater and film composer in the U.K., explores the lives of football fans. The opera incorporates chants from British football clubs and presents the stories of footballers' wives and girlfriends.

Pook told The Telegraph in 2010, "Being a team supporter has become an increasingly important theme in our culture, and there are such an array of emotions during a game, which I thought would lend well to the theatricality of an opera."

This holds true in the United States as well, which opera lovers would do well to keep in mind if they are ever sitting through a particularly interminable football game.

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