Opera makes things double tricky. A big swath of humanity regards fondness for opera as highbrow in itself. The merest acquaintance with truly dedicated opera buffs will set you right on that. To them, brow-height-wise, the bel canto style that owns my affections—which is to say, early 19th-century Italian opera—ranks somewhere down there with roller derby and monster truck shows.
As can be seen from all this, the main charge against middlebrowness is that it’s shallow. We middlebrows don’t plunge too deep into things. Perhaps we’re afraid of what we might find there; or perhaps we’re just lazy. I’ll go with lazy: I’m not aware of being scared of anything, other than of course women and the po-lice. So I’m lazy. So sue me.