Iknow a lot of people who think they don't know anything about opera - who, in fact, are quite sure they hate opera. I'm usually able to confuse them by playing the overtures to The Barber of Seville (Bugs Bunny cartoons) or William Tell (The Lone Range) but, as Telegraph columnist Tim Wong points out, even modern operas have beautiful, hummable arias.
I think all of the pieces excerpted in Wong's article are eminently enjoyable - and he doesn't even mention "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" from The Threepenny Opera, which we might recognize as "Mack the Knife." See, you know more about opera than you think! ◙