There is another segment of interest from Joshua Jampol’s interview with Kasper Bech Holten, head of Copenhagen’s Royal Opera. It is from Jampol’s insightful collection of opera interviews, Living Opera.
Here is Holten’s response to the question of what vision of opera he has been refining and sharing with his company:
“That’s what I like about the refined metaphor ‘The Emotional Fitness Center’. If you don’t get on the machines, if you don’t contribute, it doesn’t work. You can go to all the fitness centers you want and look at the machines. That doesn’t help; you won’t get slim or trained. You have to invest yourself and your own emotional life. You have to use your love muscle and your hate muscle to get something out of opera”.
Holten implies that our emotions need to be trained to remain healthy. Opera is a means to keep emotionally fit. All music, in this sense, can be a means of keeping our emotions in shape.
It makes one wonder if there is a musical regimen that can work out all these emotional muscles. Is that that point though? Everyone has different means of staying healthy. Emotional makeups vary from person to person. Perhaps that is not the point.
Maybe we should be aware of what emotional muscles are worked by the types of music we listen to. Once noticed, there might be an imbalance, whether that be an overcompensation or lack in one muscle. We could, for instance, just be listening to aggressive music. Our anger muscles could be highly developed from this. However, our calm muscle would be getting nothing and could need more orientation and care.
Our emotional health attributed to the music we listen might be something we all need to lend more consideration to.