As someone who enjoys opera but can rarely afford to see it live, I regard the Gene Siskel Film Center’s current opera series (which began a few weeks ago and runs until the beginning of January) as a mixed blessing. These screenings present some of the most popular operas—including Verdi’s Aida and Puccini’s Tosca—as performed by some of the most respected musicians in the world (and presented in gorgeous surround sound). Better yet, the theatrical experience denies many of the distractions (phones, doorbells, pets) that make it difficult to commit your attention to an entire opera at home.