Opera seems to be steadily gaining in popular consciousness, if ITV's 'Popstar to Operastar' is anything to go by.
The first show pulled in 6.4 million viewers (a 27.5 per cent share) and is now averaging an audience of 3 million weekly, according to Broadcast; demonstrating that the British public do have an interest in opera and it's not something reserved for real aficionados.
Even the popstar participants are realising that opera is not an elitist art form, helping to change general perception.
While the show in no way compares with the exhilarating experience of a full operatic performance sung by professionals, it is bringing the art to the mainstream. TV is a start but to really enjoy opera, it needs to be experienced in the place which lays claim to its creation: Italy.
For anyone who is developing an appreciation of opera, a visit to the famous Verona Opera is a must. Enjoy 'Romeo and Juliet' in the very setting in which Shakespeare intended, along with other wonderful arias throughout the summer-long event.
Held in the iconic and atmospheric Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheatre, this open-air festival celebrates the very finest and best-loved operas from June to September.
On the schedule are 'La Traviata', 'La Boheme', 'Nabucco', 'Aida' and 'The Barber of Seville,' not forgetting, of course, the star-crossed lovers themselves, 'Romeo and Juliet'.
The production featured this year is brand new and "destined to reignite the souls of all opera fans," according to italymag.co.uk.
The Verona Opera is not to be missed.