Opera is no exception. It can require a large cast, orchestra and production team to mount a show of traditional operatic proportions, which means that expenses can run high. So high, in fact, that down the line it means sometimes catering to the crowds who can afford to pay. It all gives the whole genre an aura of lavishness and grandeur that it only sometimes deserves.
Nothing, however, is so one-sided—and the tide is turning. In recent years, a number of smaller opera companies have cropped up in the Toronto area alone that are doing innovative work with fewer resources than might be expected. And often, that innovation goes hand-in-hand with a redirection towards more diverse opera audiences—proving that opera has the ability to go places that those used to the grand stage may not have imagined.