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Off the beat

billyLa Cieca has just heard that Leonard Slatkin has been removed from further performances of Traviata at the Met.

The critical reaction to Slatkin’s Monday night performance is unanimously negative:

“For a conductor to use the opportunity of a Met production to learn “La Traviata” doesn’t seem the best idea…. I have seldom heard such faulty coordination between a conductor and a cast at the Met.” [NYT]

“…the tentative, clumsy conducting of Leonard Slatkin. He also derailed both experienced baritone Thomas Hampson (Germont) and debuting tenor James Valenti as Violetta’s lover, Alfredo.” [NYP]

“So with all this vocal wonderment, why wasn’t the evening a huge success? Sadly, the answer first and foremost was conductor Leonard Slatkin…. There were huge pacing problems throughout and all the leads were often left in the dust as Slatkin seemed indifferent not only to their preferences, but even to letting them know what was going on. Several times I noted looks of fear in the vocalists’ faces as they glanced over at Slatkin wailing away at a pace faster than necessary in several key moments.” [Out West Arts]


  • quoth the maven says:

    italics mishap. Sorry about that.

  • poisonivy says:

    Well y’all can judge for yourself:

  • mj says:

    #66, I am SO with you! I have experienced booing a few times in the theater and I think it sucks.

    I don’t think there are any singers, conductors, set-designers or directors who purposefully set out to create shit/a shitty performance. Part of being a human being means that one will fail. It’s just mean-spirited to rub that in an artist’s face like that when it happens in the theater.

  • mj says:

    Oops, I meant to say that one will fail *sometimes*

  • CruzSF says:

    mj@ 73 AND 74: perfect illustration of your point about failure! :-)

  • Harry says:

    mj73: Yes I agree that artists can realize quickly that they have ‘stuffed up’ but do they or managements move to quickly fix the problems? If not, they stand ‘ as knowingly selling faulty merchandise to the public ‘after the fact’. Booing….is therefore just a simple reflex ‘class action’

    Surely ripped off aggrieved audiences have a right to some recompense. If so justified :to the ones that objected to the booing, perhaps they do not like being shown up as cultural morons who will clap and accept anything. A performance is only as good as the natural response of the audience watching it !!!!

  • Regina delle fate says:

    Doesn’t Mrs Gelb have La traviata in her repertoire? And, if I’m not mistaken, she was the maestra at last year’s performances in Munich starring La Gheorghiu…..At least she knows it!