One of my new year's resolutions was to develop an appreciation for opera. To that end I have listened to (small) doses, usually Met productions.

So far, small success.

But, perhaps I have found a substantive reason to dislike opera.

A few weeks ago I was listening to The Pearl Fishers by Bizet-- Synopsis here. --when I began yelling at the radio.

A very brief summary. Two old friends reunite. Earlier they had "fallen in love" with the same woman seen from a distance. In order to preserve their friendship each promised the other not to pursue her. The woman, a priestess, is pledged to virginity. All three come together at a fisherman's encampment when the priestess hired to protect the fleet through her prayers and rituals turns out to be the object of the friends' earlier infatuation. After much tribulation, one of the men runs off with the priestess.

Promise to his friend--overuled by "true love." Vow to remain celibate--overuled by "true love." Obligation to protect the fishing fleet through religious ritual--overuled by "true love."

The passions of the heart, the least stable part of human make-up, are in this opera made determative for life and its decisions. Promises and vows count for nothing.

And this opera is not unique.

This is not the world-view I subscribe to. So maybe I have a substantive reason to continue a non-lover of opera.

Yes, I know there are other operas. sigh. Perhaps I should check out pre Romantic Movement works.