"No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible."
"Well, basically there are two sorts of opera ... There's your heavy opera, where basically people sing foreign and it goes like "'Oh, oh, oh, I am dyin', oh, I am dyin', oh, oh, oh, that's what I'm doin'", and there's your light opera, where they sing in foreign and it basically goes "Beer! Beer! Beer! Beer! I like to drink lots of beer!", although sometimes they drink champagne instead. That's basically all of opera, reely."
— Nanny Ogg, Maskerade
"A tenor and soprano want to make love, but are prevented from doing so by the baritone."
— George Bernard Shaw's definition of opera
"She seemed to me a good deal like what Cleopatra would have been after going in too freely for the starches and cereals. I don't know why it is, but women who have anything to do with Opera, even if they're only studying for it, always appear to run to surplus poundage."
— Bertie Wooster, Very Good, Jeeves!
"Opera in English is like baseball in Italian."
"Opera is a show which starts at 7 o'clock, and when you look at your watch three hours later, it's 7:25."
"Opera: It's better than you think. It has to be."
—Baltimore Opera ad campaign slogan
"People's reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic; they either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don't, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul."
— Edward Lewis (Richard Gere), Pretty Woman
"An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house."
— Maria Callas, one of the greatest divas of all time
"My worry is that opera will become a historic art form as opposed to a living, breathing thing."
— Renée Fleming, American soprano
"Opera happens because a large number of things amazingly fail to go wrong."
— Terry Prachett
"Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive."