You’ll Never Forget Your First Time
Jun 27, 2016
This summer, we invite you to Find Your Park at Wolf Trap as we honor and celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service! With a Wolf Trap Opera performance, you’ll enjoy a one-of-a-kind production on a casual evening with no tuxes or high heels required.
Everyone has a “first time” story—first love, first dance, first rock concert. But what about your first opera? There’s no better place to take the plunge than here at Wolf Trap, where Wolf Trap Opera (WTO) is dedicated to creating excellent opera, but to throwing open the doors to welcome first-time fans.
In fact, that first-time experience is so important that the WTO team recently set out to discover how to better connect with the uninitiated. They recruited several dozen people who had never been to an opera, and studied their hopes, fears, and opinions before and after their first opera performances. What they learned confirmed suspicions: misconceptions about opera keep people away, but simple facts and experience win over new fans.
Deborah, a 30-something study participant, reflected on her blog, A Girl Who is a Geek: “I’d never been to the opera before. I’d seen movies that featured opera, but it wasn’t something I’d ever experienced myself. [I thought] it was too expensive. I thought it might be boring. I thought it’d be confusing with the foreign language.”
But after attending her first WTO performance, Deborah had an epiphany. “I just experienced something totally new and it was excellent. With the dancing, costumes, and video screens (one of my favorite parts), it felt more like watching a Broadway show. I absolutely loved it…I’m so glad I did this. Part of my trying new things this year. SO WORTH IT!”
Deborah’s “first time” experience is hardly unique—many of the first-timers in WTO’s study reported joy, and all were glad they tried something new. And their experience is backed by science: When you try something new—whether a new food, skydiving, or opera—you give your brain a jolt. But that thrill of a new experience is only possible if you take the first step.
Make this the summer you give opera a try.
You’ll never forget your first time.