When I bring a friend to the opera, my hope is that they’ll be surprised, delighted, and moved by things they didn’t expect to see, hear, or feel. Depending on the opera, I also hope they’ll experience a reassuring frisson of recognition, whether at a melody or story line familiar from a novel, a play, a movie, a commercial, or a cartoon; or scenic elements lifted from pop culture or famous paintings. I hope they’ll be amazed at how good it is, and how seamlessly music, words, acting, movement, and visual richness blend into this irrational entertainment that at its best is so much more than the sum of its parts. I hope they’ll say or think “Wow!” repeatedly over the course of the evening. I hope they’ll leave wanting more, and wondering why it took them so long to check it out in the first place.