“. . . I often liken opera to the Olympics of singing; my voice teacher compares hearing a great singer fully in control of her instrument to watching a figure skater flawlessly execute a technical program. It’s absolutely thrilling. There is an athleticism to operatic singing that is truly stunning to behold. That a single human voice can project over a full orchestra and envelop an audience of 4,000 people without any artificial amplification; that we never rely on autotune to deliver a note-perfect performance; that we can sing higher, lower, faster, and longer than anyone else in the world—all while telling the greatest stories and giving life to the most intense human emotions. How is that not exciting? In my heart of hearts, I feel that if people really knew this, they wouldn’t dismiss opera as elitist or irrelevant or ridiculous. At its best, it is a perfect marriage of technical mastery, physical endurance, and artistic vision, and no amount of sexy costumes or high-concept set design can ever displace that.” — Chelsea Feltman.