At first, I only went to see the ones that I thought were most familiar, or were by Verdi or Rossini (my faves). Then, I (well, we actually, as in three of us regulars) started choosing operas that featured our favourite singers. Eventually we became more daring and choose the whole season (except for Wagner's The Ring Cycle - that might be a bit too much for me) and sat through productions we knew absolutely nothing about. We started to excitedly await the new season to see what was on offer and with the option of repeats there was no reason to miss any one. I remember the first year when it was just like going to see any movie, you bought your tickets then took whatever seats were available. You had to get there a good 30-40 minutes early if you didn't want to end up in the front row dealing with the distorted, oversized, HD faces looming at you. Now you book your seats when you buy your tickets just as at the theatre. For the last, most recent opera, we went to one of the new theatres, paid a little extra and had those special seats and enjoyed wine while watching my newest favourite tenor, Juan Diego Florez in Le Comte Ory.
Opera has everything you could want in a production. Yes, it can be long. And yes, it is almost always in another language. And yes, there is a lot of repetition. But there is singing, acting and dance involved. There is the drama, movement, fashion, intrigue, romance, murder and mayhem, and sometimes animals. And in the case of Juan Diego, a baby born to his wife half an hour before his performance! Talk about excitement!