Cher Public

Sock’s appeal

puppetmasterThe maniacal laughter of incorrigible NYCO nemesis Manuela Hoelterhoff continues to echo through the halls of Castle Bloomberg this morning, as yet another of the executive editor’s gang of henchscribes gloats over yesterday’s announcement of a curtailed season at the company that dared to snub Francesca Zambello. Poor paltry fools!

(Funniest bit: “Jeremy Gerard is an editor and critic for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.”)

  • squirrel

    Vile and irresponsible “journalism”.

    Though I do like the turn of phrase “The Fenice of Venice,’ esp. if one makes them rhyme!

    • mrsjohnclaggart

      A certain person knows quite a bit about Jeremy Gerard. According to that person (and can one be sure that person is telling the truth?), Gerard is a Catholic homo hating bigot and need one say it, an idiot. But I cannot vouch for that certain person’s opinions, I only repeat them to fill out (so to speak) the picture.

    • Then Mantua, and Padua, and we open again… where?

    • squirrel

      Squirrel is ignorant of any homophobia or backstory, but understands this news source to be at least biased. Things like referring to the State Theater as a “Decrepit Space” is going way too far. It’s almost like the author wishes them ill.

      • mrsjohnclaggart

        That the reporter is an idiot and a bigot colors its manure as much as when a political reporter with that profile ‘covers’ an incident with national implications. A news source that pays someone like that is not a news source but a propaganda engine.

        The back story explains an otherwise hidden agenda. An editorial where that agenda was made explicit would be honest at least (the Sapphic aspect need not be mentioned in an editorial but that the writer knows of other options the board had and spells them out could actually be illuminating for readers.)

        But ‘hidden’ means that lies and insinuations are substituted for facts and clear explanations.

        As a reported piece, not an editorial, this is very poor because finally, it is not news worthy. It is also dishonest because the ‘real’ story is not actually about what is being reported.

        The horse trading between two tenants of the same building actually means nothing.

        If value is to be found in the facts, it is that City Ballet will be have more time to showcase its storied repertory before being stuck in Nutcracker never never land. That means it is essentially a dance story and given the nature of that rep it will be meaningful to lovers of Balanchine/Robbins/Martins in New York City. Whether that justifies the spending of supposedly valuable and allegedly very limited arts real estate on that site is a question.

        Incidental to that story is the side note that the other tenant was able to make money on the deal.

        That is the FULL extent of news in the story.

        A reader can decide whether the side note has implications good or bad for City Opera but in fact there is no way that reporter or his editor knows the future. Simply using the known fact that a fairly substantial sum was made by the Opera is good news. However in a reported piece it is up to the reader to view the news that way and further to interpret the transaction as a responsible and realistic action on the part of the head of the Opera — or not.

        There will presumably be time for a responsible and balanced up date on the plans of City Opera for 2010/11, which could reasonably ‘remind’ readers of troubles and doubts about the institution and its current leadership in a fair way and also offer an interpretation of this news as it might pertain to the opera’s future. As it stands the story now is a hoax; a tiny bit of dance news is used as an excuse to rehash bad news about an opera company and to bash that company’s management. The idiot’s averring that ‘more’ could have been made from a success is irresponsible without the fool’s spelling out just what that ‘more’ would have been and how it could have been achieved. And this is how you know idiots are involved: ONLY these sorts of ‘reviewers’, shit for brains failures who couldn’t make it in real journalism think things occur in the arts because a magic wand can be waved. The asshole Gerard would have no clue how to mount any sort of production in any sort of real marketplace and his crass arrogant stupidity is reprehensible whether there or elsewhere — and that kind of stupidity is epidemic.

        I am sick of this kind of idiocy from people in a position to publish it.

        • Cassandra

          There’s no question it seemed to be written as an op ed, and while I do like Hoelterhoff when she’s witty and sarcastic, I’m surprised the editors over her at Bloomberg allow her to publish such stories under their name without some sort of recognizance of her relationship to her girlfriend and the NYCO situation. She’s been using her authority and power as a bully pulpit for a year now, and it seems beneath her, and it’s certainly below a news-gathering and publishing service. I notice that she never writes the articles, but has her underlings Gerard and the absurdly named Zinta Lundborg (What is she, a Czech porn star? An ice skater?) do the hit and run for her.

          She is the editor of the Muse section, but is there no one over her to address this issue? They do have real writers there, and I find them an interesting source of news if not entirely accurate.

          The line between news and opinion and entertainment blurs evermore.

        • Cassandra

          Also, they were just reprinting the TImes’ actual reporting with the annoying addendum of Gerard’s opinions. Why not say that?

  • pavel

    Zowie! Such venom!

  • Lalala

    Sorry, I just don’t see what is so horrible about this article. It’s tame compared to many of the things that have been written about Gelb, Mortier, and countless other opera companies and managers.

    • mrsjohnclaggart

      lalala (I want your name) I think there is a certain nuance here. It is one thing to offer straight or gay reportage and let the reader make of it what she will. It is another for quasi reportage (the facts) to be the handmaiden of an only slightly hidden agenda.

      In this case, the vindictiveness of a contemporary Sappho toward those she feels dissed her Phaon of the beauteous eyes is everywhere; like the hidden finger prints that only a dick dusting the murder weapon can find. The implication is that Phaon of the beauteous eyes would have done a better job than anyone else in running the company. And that solutions to the problems at City Opera are merely a matter of wishing for the right things (how exactly could they have built on the success of that Don Giovanni in a concrete and lucrative way? Perhaps Sappho thinks the man of Steel could have sent a comely soprano over to Harvey Weinstein with instructions to drop her jaw and work her intercostals for dear life, and millions would have flowed for a filming to be shown on cable or even in movie theaters with profits to buoy the company? Harvey’s company is broke and struggling as are many like him but even the fantasy is not feasible).

      Or perhaps she thinks enough money was earned to fund a tour (tours are ruinously expensive, not inevitably profitable and how were those particular singers or equivalents, the orchestra and conductor to be paid, transported, housed and, on such notice, where would they have played with any certainty of large audiences?)

      This girl (not a Sapphist indeed) has no particular sympathy for the man of Steel and not a lot of hope for City Opera. And a certain person knows that Phaon of the beauteous eyes was rudely treated and misled by one particular horror on the City Opera board, and furthermore was left out of pocket by the experience. So rage is understandable. But Phaon’s plan though sophisticated and worked out in detail was not really feasible given both the finances and the organization of the company, or indeed given the way the arts business works in America today.

      BUT there is no reason to assume that Steel is an idiot (he is not opera wise or terribly experienced as a manager), has no one of intelligence around him and isn’t doing what most people would do given these terrible circumstances. Giving up some weeks, which quite possibly were not set anyway, and getting a chunk of change for it, is no doubt really a band aid for a hemorrhage, but it is not on its face a bad decision. And if it underwrites some weeks later in that season that were looking hard to finance than it makes a certain sense.

      Implications (clear in the article) otherwise are at the least unfair and the implied information of bad things certain to ensue is at best partial.

      • tannengrin

        oh, Mrs. JC where have you been. This IS, I do hope, the synopsis of the libretto for your next opera?

  • sterlingkay

    I agree…CITY OPERA is an unmitigated mess…the press should absolutely be telling it like it is, rather than being their PR arm, recycling their press releases and putting a good spin of things like the NY Times does.

    • Jay

      NYCO is a fiscal basket case and regardless of the writer’s purported homophobia, his piece is worthwhile.

      NYCO needs a smaller venue (wherever that may be), and should concentrate on more specialized repertory that can still attract operagoers. Sing out “Louise”? Well maybe not, but “Rondine”, “Die Tote Stadt”, “Alceste”, “Albert Herring”, “La finta giardinera”, baroque opera, etc. could draw audiences and not be in competition with the Met.

  • kashania

    We all know that opera is a money-losing venture, right? Even a sold-out performance doesn’t turn a profit on ticket-sales alone. So trading in a few weeks for $9M is a good deal as far as I’m concerned. One of the biggest challenges facing NYCO is its debt. $9M will go a long way. This also works into their strategy for being a leaner and meaner operation than before — “leaner and meaner” implies fewer weeks in the theatre.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    • louannd

      ‘ya know.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • m. p. arazza

    Whatever the article’s failings as “reportage,” in fact it is accurately headed “Commentary
    by Jeremy Gerard.”

    • Cassandra

      Ah, I didn’t see that. It should be made clearer.

  • Henry Holland

    Please continue to post here, MrsJohnClaggart, reading your stuff is always a delight.

    Does anybody have any idea what the City Opera 2010/11 season is going to be? I don’t think there’s a NYCO equivalent of Met Futures.

    FTA: Why didn’t City Opera’s board relocate the company somewhere else if the renovations made singing impossible?

    That’s like a neutron star of stupid.

    City Opera has been trying to move since, what? the Christopher Keene days? There was talk of a move to City Center, a purpose-built place at Ground Zero and others. Mortier was trying to find alternate venues and had planned Messiaen’s St. Francois di Assisi for the Armoury, where Die Soldaten had been done with terrific results.

    The man acts as if moving a fairly large arts organization to new digs in Manhattan is as simple as renting an apartment in Queens. Jeebus.