A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from August 21, 2014
Popera (pop/popular + opera)

"Popera” (pop/popular + opera) is an operatic style meant to appeal to a popular audience that normally doesn’t like opera. The term “popera” has been used infrequently since at least 1947. Italian operatic tenor Vittorio Grigolo (born in 1977) has popularized “popera” to describe his appeal.

Wikipedia: Vittorio Grigolo
Vittorio Grigolo (born February 19, 1977) is an Italian operatic tenor.
First albums
In 2006, Grigolo recorded a solo album, In the Hands of Love, in the pop/opera genre he calls “Popera”.

29 June 1947, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), “Radio,” pg. 23, col. 2:
11 a. m. Mutual Music (WHA): “Opera to popera.”

29 March 1953, The Humboldt Times (Eureka, CA), pg. 15, col. 6:
The POPERA, an annual Music Department (Humboldt State College—ed.) jamboree consists of a Pop Concert, followed by dancing.

Google News Archive
25 October 1967, Glasgow (Scotland) , “London Letter,” pg. 10, col. 7:
...and Sadlers Wells, with its contribution titled “Popera for the People.”

20 December 1970, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, “Kaleidoscope” by Tom Nickell, Sunday One sec., pg. 9, col. 1:
It seems clea to me that the Antonian Creative Theater made history of a sort with its “Montage ‘70,” a force blending of The Who’s “popera” called “Tommy” and the Open Theater’s “The Serpent.”

10 September 1978, The Sunday Republican (Springfield, MA), pg. F-17, col. 3:
EVENING AT POPS—(...) Does this establish a new category—“popera?"”

Google News Archive
25 August 1985, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, “Stage Fright Prompts Victor Borge To Be a Cut-Up WIth the Classics,” pg. 2F, col. 5:
Borge says that we may call what he does “popera”—that is, “opera for people who are afraid of opera.”

Google News Archive
28 October 1989, The Hour (Norwalk, CT), “Conductor’s ‘Popera’ attempts to take the highbrow out of opera” by Marlene Aig (AP), pg. 39, col. 1:
NEW YORK—Some call it corrupting the classic. But conductor Daniel Lipton calls it Popera.

Popera is the program he started at Opera Hamilton, a suburb of Toronto, Canada, which plays well-known operatic pieces for people who don’t normally attend opera.

Google Books
12 November 2011, Billboard, “Romeo’s Escape: Vittorio Grigolo balances operaroleswith blues, jazz andother new directions” by Phil Gallo, pg. 59, col. 3:
“My goal is to enlarge the audience [for opera] by using the media of our time,” he says, using the term “popera” as avdefinition of a viable art form rather than as a dirisive insult.

Google News Archive
25 November 2004, Baco Raton (FL)News, “Amici Forever sings ‘Popera’ at Mizner” by Skip Sheffield, pg. 12E, col. 2:
They sing opera like pop singers and make pop songs sound like opera—and they’re awfully good-looking too.

Amici Forever, the ground-breaking, platinum-selling “popera” group, performs “An Anniversary with Amici” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Count de Hoernle Ampitheater at Mizner Park.

The Wall Street Journal
on Getting Young People to the Opera
The 37-year old Italian tenor talks about playing Romeo, the joys of outdoor theater and ‘popera’

Updated Aug. 21, 2014 8:19 p.m. ET
Is the term “popera,” which you coined several years ago when you were trying different things, still relevant for you today?
Yes, it is. This is a term that I really like, especially because it is part of how I define myself. I still think it is important to distinguish myself from crossover artists who don’t normally perform in the theater. I am not about big concerts with amplification, but “popera” means you can be a part of that world and perform opera in the opera house. It’s a way to communicate with young people in a language they know better. I try to use my age to my advantage.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Thursday, August 21, 2014 • Permalink