The happiest thing about opera is that it occurs in the now -- palpably so. The experience of the operagoer may well, as familiarity grows, expand to enclose future (the near pleasure of getting one's tickets or wondering what the season may bring, as well as the more distant games of what future lineups would be pleasant to see, or what some singer or conductor might become over time) and, of course, past (both the vast art history in which musicologists swim and the closer performance nostalgia into which many a devoted fan has sunk) but these are secondary to the existence of a performance in the present, as the many and various times of a house full of people sync into a single now as each makes his way through the music and story, the sounds and meanings made on that specific occasion. It's this now created each night anew that is important: the great mystery that makes everything else about the opera world tolerable.
All this by way of saying that if you've been away from opera for the summer months -- or longer -- or have never seen an opera at all (if by some chance someone of that description is reading this blog)! -- you may have missed some number of great performances and rather more less-great news and gossip, but none of that has any bearing on what you may or may not experience at to the Met season-opening Tosca next Monday. (Or, of course, any other performance.)