Jacques Brel is in the opera house

Brace yourselves: I’m about to recommend you go see a show at an opera theater.

I expect this will startle you because, in my experience, most Americans don’t appreciate opera in any major capacity. I don’t know if it’s the foreign language, length, or the fact that people are generally turning away from theater, opera included. But, whatever the reason, I don’t like it.

So you should go see “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” at the Skylight Opera Theatre. “Jacques Brel” toes a fine line between musical and opera, being completely sung but discernibly not “Ride of the Valkyries” material.

To be really specific, it’s a musical revue, showcasing the music of Belgian composer Jacques Brel, who was in fact alive and well and living in Paris all the way up until his death in 1978 at age 49.

Much of his music has been translated, and it’s pretty likely you’ve heard some of the songs once before in some form or another. His most famous song, “Ne me quitte pas,” commonly translated as “Do Not Leave Me” or “If You Go Away,” has been recorded by artists as varied as Sting, Barbra Streisand and Julio Iglesias.

As a revue, “Jacques Brel” doesn’t have a plotline, but the songs make up for it. Traditional fare for the singer/songwriter genre, the songs tend to tell specific stories, like that of a spurred lover in “Madeleine,” or a sailor drinking in the port of “Amsterdam.”

The Skylight’s production opened Jan. 28, and tickets can still be found at skylightopera.com. So if you’re feeling adventurous, give Mr. Brel and the Skylight a chance. You might be surprised to find you like the opera a little more than you thought.