Seems there has been a bit of a furore on opera with EineKleine Rob and Anna of litte.red.boat. Rob makes an excellent case on opera, but the debate itself will probably strike some chords with people anyway.
For me, the point is that opera is so varied. Some I love; some I dislike (or haven't yet grown to appreciate). A good friend still hasn't quite forgiven me for not yet graduating to Wagner, being still a lover of Puccini - yes, I know, very adolescent, but Tosca remains an absolute favourite of mine, along with La Boheme. Sadly, I had to endure The Marriage of Figaro when I studied "The Enlightenment" module for the Open University. It didn't bring me out in the hives that repeated listening to Handel's Messiah did (if Handel hadn't have been long dead I would have surely located and assassinated him), but I certainly wasn't best chuffed with the guy. Thankfully, after many years I have gotten over my antipathy to Figaro, but it took some doing. It wasn't the music/opera per se, more the having to write an essay about it when I was so unable to match the musical terminology to what I was hearing (I have a similar problem with much terminology from poetry analysis: I think in that respect I am 'tone deaf').