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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Opera Expert Visits SA For McNay Lecture & "Romantic, Mysterious" Rusalka

Dario Acosta
Marc A. Scorca

Thursday night, January 30, the McNay Art Museum’s Chiego Lecture Hall hosts a world-renown expert on opera, something about which many of us know little.

The McNay Art Museum event is called Why Opera Matters and the lecture will be delivered by Marc Scorca, the president and CEO of Opera America.

"An art form that is incorrectly perceived as to be a 19th century European art form when in fact, it is not only a 21st century American art form, but one that speaks to our deepest humanity, and I think makes us better people," Scorca said.

As evidence that opera isn’t the stodgy art form many take it to be, he cites this.

“The Houston Grand Opera commissioned a mariachi opera, from Mariachi Vargas, one of the great mariachi bands in Mexico," Scorca said. "And I think today’s composers are pulling on all of the current cultural references to create works that speak to us in modern terms."

He looks forward to the McNay lecture, but he’s got something else on his agenda, too. Scorca said he’ll be at the Majestic to see the San Antonio Symphony, the Mastersingers and Opera San Antonio collaboration on Rusalka.

"It’s a wonderful story, kind of a romantic, mysterious story," he said. "Yes, being done in Czech. And anyone who attends -- and I hope they do -- will be able to read the English language translations that will be provided."

Scorca said those who discount opera are missing a lot.

"This multi-layered telling of eternal human stories. Of love, of loss, of any of jealousy, of happiness. It really is an art form for all the senses," he said.

He travels coast-to-coast following opera productions. As to opera being the place for the old, he says not so.

"I see theaters filled with young people," Scorca said.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii