12-13 May 2012


We live in a time full of words. We use words to describe our world, but there are things words cannot grasp. Words have a tendency to pull us into the domain of the logic, of rationality - that is what they are best at.

But so much of life is not rational, not logic, and when we try to describe it with the use of words and logic, we fall short of understanding and expressing some of the most extreme and essential aspects of the human condition.

Music gives us a language for that. Gives us a language for "talking" about the irrational, about emotions, about passion. In opera we combine theatre - presenting us with characters and a story, but fast forwarding to the most extreme emotional situations - with this language of music.

When anybody asks me: "Why do they spend such a long time in opera, singing I love you, or I die now?" - I answer: "Because in opera, we spend time on what's really important in life."


Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden