Opera: Kenneth Clark

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Why are people prepared to sit silently for three hours listening to an opera performance of which they do not understand a word and of which they seldom know the plot? Partly, of course, because it is a display of skill, like a football match. But chiefly, I think, because it is irrational. ‘What is too silly to be said may be sung’ [1] well, yes; but also what is too subtle, or too deeply felt, or too revealing or too mysterious, these things also can be sung and only be sung.

Kenneth Clark 1903-1983

Civilisation


[1] Beaumarchais, although often ascribed to Voltaire. Joseph Addison said something similar earlier but to a smaller audience.

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About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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2 Responses to Opera: Kenneth Clark

  1. enJOY OPERA with thX great article……appreciate it and am reblogging

  2. Reblogged this on Greatpoetrymhf's Weblog and commented:
    Enjoy Opera…..

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