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You Might Actually Like Opera. Dallas Opera's Brown Bags Series Will Help You Find Out.

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My excuse for never having experienced the Dallas Opera is that Richard Gere has never rolled up in a Lotus, dropped his credit card and then clam-shelled my finger with a jewelry box. But I guess that scenario pretty much necessitates my identifying as a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold and a penchant for emotionally distant silver foxes -- and only one of those two things is true.

But Independent Woman rejoice. Grab your Fox (or Vixen) and take control of this situation by checking out the Dallas Opera's just-announced Brown Bags series. It's the perfect way to dip your toe into these murky cultural waters without dropping a pretty penny; but who knows. As Julia Roberts' Vivian learned, one does not have to be an arugula eating, Kennebunkport-summering uptowner to appreciate the beauty of Verdi.

As it turns out, this season just happens to feature Verdi's AÏDA. (Fun fact: last season they performed Verdi's La traviata, the opera that Vivian and Edward watch in Pretty Woman.)

Brown Bags feature two free lunchtime recitals in Sammons Park at the AT&T PAC throughout September, and if you have little ones, you can also catch a free performance of John Davies' Jack and the Beanstalk at the Latino Cultural Center.

Mainstage shows now have a new low starting price, with single tickets for AÏDA, Bizet's Doctor Miracle and TDO's Family Concerts starting as low as $19 ($5, for select family shows).

Still not convinced? Catch a free lecture by MIT composer Tod Machover to learn why "the fat lady singing" is something you could get behind.

For the full, just-posted schedule, visit dallasopera.org.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.