MANY YEARS ago RCA Victor issued a record titled "Opera for People Who Hate Opera." It featured popular arias such as the toreador song from Bizet's "Carmen."
I don't know if it actually made many converts to opera, but its premise, at least in theory, was an admirable one: Demonstrate that opera can be melodic and pleasing to the ear and not discordant and shrill, and the listener's interest may be stimulated. In other words, give it a little juice and they will come.
What I am recommending for people who hate opera or who have never given it a fair chance is more drastic than RCA's concept: Go see an opera given by the Baltimore Opera Company.
For the neophyte, I suggest an opera that is light and lilting, comedic and colorful. To prevent boredom, it shouldn't be much more than a couple of hours long.
The one opening this weekend, Donizetti's "La Fille du Regiment" (The Daughter of the Regiment), fits the bill.
Don't worry. It will be sung in English, with English titles (in case you can't understand English) flashed on a screen above the stage.
The costumes, lighting, set designs and staging -- not to mention the U.S. Naval Academy's silent drill team -- should help make this opera a grand experience.
I have convinced my daughter-in-law, who has never attended an opera, to accompany me to this one. I've guaranteed her she'll have a good time.
Geraldine Segal, who lives in Randallstown, is an opera buff. "The Daughter of the Regiment" plays tomorrow, March 25, 27 and 29 at the Lyric Opera House.