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What’s Opera, Doc?

By November 24, 2008December 5th, 2008News

In a world where the difficulties they cause (and, to a lesser extent, face) are all-too-often considered the be-all and end-all of our nation’s youth, it’s sometimes nice to see something focus on the lighter side of life for young people — and who better to do that than Boris?

A member of his staff, Munira Mirza, has recently gone on record saying that she thinks it’s ‘extremely patronising’ that so-called ‘high culture’ is losing ground in the UK’s youth in favour of new forms, such as hip-hop and movies that kids can immediately relate to. The solution, according to Mirza, lies in providing young people with access to this type of entertainment (including classical music, theatre, opera, and others), instead of just providing them with easily-digested material. By giving them the opportunity to see these things, it’s possible to break down the barriers of snobbery and help to bring people together in a way that events targeted at specific ethnic minorities might not. To help this along, Boris is expected to launch a string of new proposals, including:

  • An amnesty for old musical instruments lurking in the back of cupboards, so they can be passed on to young people.
  • A reduction in the number of events held in Trafalgar Square.
  • A series of events next year celebrating London’s people and history, entitled The Story of London.

Now, we all know Boris has a reputation for being a little… well, let’s say he’s not exactly known for his collection of rap CDs and leave it at that — but is he just out of touch with modern society, or is he right, and should we be making room for these older forms before our young people lose touch with them all together? As far as we at Boriswatch Towers can see, giving young people the choice, and making ‘old-fashioned’ culture available to them without attempting to dumb it down, can only be a good thing.

What do you think? Is it right that Boris is attempting to open young people’s minds to a new world of culture that might otherwise be overlooked, or is it a waste of time that could be better spent elsewhere? Are these new art forms less valid than Shakespeare and Verdi, or should we be making moves to enable them to co-exist in the youth of today without it being viewed as sad or elitist? Let us know in the comments.

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