Are you familiar with famed singers Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli? They are two of many who became stars in the classical crossover arena during the 1990s, around the same time the Three Tenors made their debut. This type of crossover music has been referred to as “Popera”-- the fusion of pop and opera characteristics. Popera is marked by operatic voices that sing popular arrangements. It is known to use amplification, a large orchestra accompaniment, and to be performed in more popular venues rather than traditional concert halls.
With the Three Tenors performance in the early 1990s, the door opened wide to many who followed. This new genre made the idea of opera, which had always been labeled as elite, or for the musically educated, accessible to the masses. Many Popera stars have had no problem topping the Billboard charts with their work.
Below you can watch “Time to Say Goodbye.” This duet sung by Brightman and Bocelli became one of their best known performances.
There are quite a few other names that come to mind when I think of Popera. Can you think of any? What is your opinion on this type of music? Does it lessen the art of opera? Or do you find it to be a positive factor in furthering the appreciation of opera by mass culture?