Opera's Dirty Little Secret

Opera companies have long been accused of keeping a secret from their listeners. Critics have claimed that opera — thought of by many as the last bastion of pure musical expression unadulterated by the insidious tentacles of sound equipment — has, in fact, embraced the rise of audio technology, while its audiences have been listening, unaware. The critics are correct, but the situation is by no means as dire or unethical as they would like people to believe.

Most opera companies — suc

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