Newbies' Passion for Opera 'Like Love at First Sight'

Research suggests if you don't swoon first time, opera may not be for you
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2009 8:30 AM CDT
People dance during the 14th Budapest Opera Ball at the State Opera House in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009.    (AP Photo/MTI, Laszlo Beliczay)
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(Newser) – The passion that opera fans feel for the art form is more akin to love at first sight than a slow-growing desire, Reuters reports. A sociologist focused on fans in the cheap seats who hadn't been brought up on opera, and found they tended to have an intense, explosive attraction to the opera the first time they went—with the learning process coming later.

"Fans get hooked when they are still outsiders, before having an active apparatus to interpret the experience, or are thoroughly socialized in what constitutes the enjoyment and how they should decode it," the professor said. "Learning through interaction happens not at the beginning, as expected, but as the logical continuation that helps to shape the initial attraction."