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10 Dec 2004

An Invitation to the Opera

A Night At The Opera Dec. 10, 2004 - That's the title of a very famous Marx Brothers movie--a movie that makes fun of all sorts of opera stereotypes. But you might be surprised to hear that the number of...

A Night At The Opera

Dec. 10, 2004 - That's the title of a very famous Marx Brothers movie--a movie that makes fun of all sorts of opera stereotypes. But you might be surprised to hear that the number of Americans spending a night at the opera has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Tonight, we'll introduce you to some young Americans who are part of that growing interest in opera, and we'll look at the remarkable renovation of the theater that many consider the temple of opera: La Scala. One of our guides is America's own diva, Denyce Graves.

Many people like to think of opera as high art. Well, yes and no. The truth of the matter is, if you are a fan of musicals, you'd probably like opera. If you liked the Broadway musical Rent, you'd probably love La Bohème. I'm sure most people are familiar with the stories of Madame Butterfly and Carmen. I've just named three of the most popular operas performed in the world. Opera's recent resurgence probably has something to do with the fact that people have once again discovered that opera is pure entertainment--love, murder, intrigue, family drama--all in song. For opera performers, they know they've arrived when they perform at La Scala in Milan. This week, La Scala reopened after a three-year renovation that restored the 18th century interiors to their glory, but also built one of the most modern theatrical stages in the world. Our resident music fan Dave Marash reports from Milan, where Nightline got a sneak peak behind the scenes during the last frantic days of renovation, including a look at one stage that moves horizontally, and another that rises from some 60 feet underground.

For the longtime viewers of Nightline, you know that we are no strangers to the world of divas, and tonight you'll meet the grand dame of divas--someone even your kids will enjoy. It's a Nightline moment from our first 25 years.

I hope you'll join us.
Madhulika Sikka & The Nightline Staff
ABC News
Washington Bureau

Copyright © 2004 ABC News Internet Ventures

[Click here for video highlights (subscription to ABCNEWS On Demand required).]

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