The reasons why any adult might never have attended an opera are many, so looking into their past for a reasonable explanation might be less than a worthwhile pursuit. Some music programs in schools avoid the subject entirely, or their parents might have chosen to never take them to one. These are very good reasons why an adult might have no experience with this form of musical entertainment, but there is no reason for them to continue skipping over it. It might be difficult to get them there at first, so introducing adults to opera could be an extraordinary challenge.
One of the main objections adults seem to have to opera is the language barrier, and this should be explained before procuring tickets. Explaining to them that the basic story line will be part of the program will do little to enhance their willingness to go, and even pointing out the emotional content of the music will help them recognize the story. Telling them it is a play where the performers act out the parts might help, but guilt and coercion could be the best tools to use.
Choosing an opera for an adult’s first attendance could be tricky, but selecting one of the comedic operas might work wonders. Rather than the heavy tragedy they expect, the performance will be filled with lilting music they can relax and enjoy. It is a good way to get them started on the idea of going on a regular basis, so perhaps waiting for a few performances before introducing a tragedy would be for the best.
Adults often have plenty of reasons they can give for avoiding the opera, but much of it is due to a lack of knowledge. While there is a language barrier for many, it can be overcome by the emotional content portrayed by the entertainers. Guilt is often used as a tool to get an adult to go against their better judgment, and finding an opera they might actually enjoy should give them a reason to go again.