08/17/2012 08:12 am ET Updated Oct 17, 2012

How Hollywood Films Are Killing Opera

"The opera?" the main character of Kenneth Lonergan's recent film, "Margaret," sourly asks her mother. "Why are you going to the opera?"

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The character is just a teenager being sullen, but her question unintentionally gets to the heart of the matter. Why do we go to the opera? What are we hoping to get from it? These are crucial questions as opera companies across America, fighting the same economic headwinds as the rest of the country, struggle simply to survive.