I never listened to opera music when I was young which is surprising since my mother is a classically trained pianist. We listen to plenty of classical music, and when we were sick, we were allowed to wrap up in a blanket and sit in the living room (which we rarely used) and listen to Peter and the Wolf on the stereo console (which we usually weren’t allowed to touch.) The sick days passed quickly and pleasantly while listening to Peter’s string instruments and Grandfather’s bassoon while the oboe quacked like a duck.

But having children brings new experiences to one’s life, and I have a daughter who loves opera music and has had the opportunity to sing in two operas so far – The Carmen last year, and this year she sang in the La Boheme. And when she is not in the opera, she likes to attend, so we saw Madame Butterfly and La Traviata too. She says that it’s not a real opera unless the heroine dies tragically, which is certainly true of the four operas I’ve seen recently, but the music is beautiful, and the comic relief in La Boheme is quite fun. And to top off the experience, my oldest daughter played violin in the opera orchestra. I may just have to start buying some opera music to listen to the next time we have a sick day!