I just saw a master class in opera conducted by Philippe Jordan. Four students presented three pieces, sang through them with various interruptions and corrections, picked up in the middle, made small changes. It was fascinating to see the tiny details of instruction that could have a big impact on the performance. And it was nice to know that the education I received in my Literature & Arts B course on opera --- part of my broad-spectrum liberal arts education, from which cocoon I've emerged an extremely specialized species of math-butterfly --- was spot on. The lines and motifs and dynamics we took apart, meticulously, even pedantically, in the class on opera, were exactly the details that the singers and pianist and conductor also deconstructed.
Perhaps we're all just a product of the same music-studying machine, churning out adoration of Mozart's every trill and embellishment. But at least we match!
This post's theme word is apophenia, "the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data." Opera is the antithesis of the apotheosis of apophenia: the culmination of connotation, in every gesture, word, costume, and backdrop.