Just back from seeing Tosca.
What a baffling and rarefied thing opera is. It takes a billion people and a billion dollars (yours, friend, whether you go or not) to put the stuff together and then there are empty seats.
I've never much liked the artificiality of the operatic voice (although the Cavaradossi was surprisingly warm and engaging) and growing up on cartoons made all sorts of orchestral effects take on the utility of a laugh-track, so whatever opera does to its devotees is lost on me.
Nevertheless, I am glad to have gone and glad that such complicated and weird enterprises are paying gigs for a lucky few. More power to you, snobs.