The tradition of classical music and the opera is such that it used to be the place where social intercourse could take place between all parts of society: politicians, industrialists, artists, citizens, etc. That tradition, I think, still exists, but it's much, much more diluted.
Classical music is one of the best things that ever happened to mankind. If you get introduced to it in the right way, it becomes your friend for life.
Music has always been transnational; people pick up whatever interests them, and certainly a lot of classical music has absorbed influences from all over the world.
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