Tag Archives: Ask Richard

it’s Tuesday–ask Richard

Dr. Richard Rohrer

It’s Tuesday, so it’s time for Dr. Richard Rohrer, president ex officio of the Hankey Opera Guild, to answer any questions submitted in the last week to “opera-toonity.”

Dear Richard,
Since you are an expert on all things related to opera, what is an an “opster?”
Languishing in Leola, PA
Dear Languishing,
Opster is of relatively late coinage, and it is the conflation of two words: opera and hipster. Therefore, an opster is someone who is a devotee of opera and, at the same time, a hepcat, someone such as myself.
Opera lovers are mad-cool individuals, so the term opster came into use out of necessity. There was just no other word preceding it so aptly characterizing the hip opera lover.
Yours in hepness,


Filed under Terminology

Richard says, “It’s a form of opera…”

Dr. Richard Rohrer, opera know-it-all


It’s Tuesday, so we asked Dr. Richard Rohrer, our resident opera expert, whether the musical skit of a popular improvisational theater group called Improv Everywhere can be considered a form of opera. Here’s his verdict:     

The question is a good one. When I was a child, if I were imitating opera, I would sing things that people normally would speak, such as, ‘Mother, please pass the potatoes’ or ‘I fell off my bicycle. Help! Help!’ Yes, I was an imaginative child–full of folderol.    

Now that I’ve seen and listened to many operas, I would say it is the content as much as the style of music that gives something an operatic quality. So, I would say, in the broadest sense, ‘Food Court Musical’ is a form of light opera, certainly civic opera at its most civic. I haven’t always held such forward thinking views. I credit Knobby [the new general director] for pulling me into the 21st century on this matter.”     

Take a look at “Food Court Musical” below and see if you agree with Richard. No matter whether you agree with Richard, you’re sure to enjoy it–especially the bystanders’ reactions:     

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, DEVILED BY DON, Light opera