As an arts writer and default arts advocate, I’m supposed to smile and applaud the announcement that, on April 28, the Dallas Opera will simulcast a free performance of The Magic Flute on a 72 foot, high def screen in Cowboys Stadium. Opera and other arts organizations are always looking for new ways to reach the general public, and that’s great. However, the Cowboys Stadium thing is loony, dilettante-ish, and condescending.
It’s as if the very act of broadcasting Mozart in a football stadium will prove that opera really is for everyone. Well, it’s not. It’s an art form that requires a certain amount of special knowledge and a more developed attention span than many people have today. I’m no opera scholar, but some animals should be seen in their natural habitats, and Jerry World ain’t an opera house. By all means, if you’ve never seen a production, save your pennies and hit a matinee at the Fort Worth Opera. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it. But skip the giant TV show in Cowboys Stadium. Blech.