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Hall of shame

“What I find bizarre is the insistence that no one—not the school, not Opera North, not the local education authority—is being homophobic. Instead, we have the strange position that, because the children are of primary-school age, these lines are too difficult and confusing for them.”

The lines in question are “Of course I’m queer/That’s why I left here/So if you infer/That I prefer/A lad to a lass/ And I’m working class/ I’d have to concur.” [The Guardian]

61 comments

  • ianw2 says:

    Nico Muhly has written a very thoughtful post on this kerfuffle, which is well worth a look.

    http://nicomuhly.com/news/2011/my-hair-is-laid-like-online-homophobia-operatic-tweet-cloud/

    He also raises the very valid point that what is going on behind the scenes that was bad enough that Hall went out and wrote a piece for the Guardian? Judging by Opera North’s rather terse response, they weren’t thrilled by it. And the equally valid point that why is this issue with the libretto only coming up now.

    • Henry Holland says:

      why is this issue with the libretto only coming up now

      The only defensible answer is that the lyrics in question were written very recently.

  • Amnerees says:

    RE: gay characters in opera

    I think serious consideration should be paid to W.H. Auden’s contention that Tristan and Isolde are really big lesbians. Do straight couples ever carry on so about their “relationships”? Isolde (the butch one?) just goes on and on about Tristan’s insensitivity and lack of emotion, while Tristan (the lipstick one or is it the reverse?)swoons and apologizes and longs for death. Everyone seems a bit off-kilter (not to mention implausible) in this opera. Both Kurvenal and Marke seem to be in love with Tristan. (Maybe he/she is putting out for them.) Brangaene seems bent on destroying both lovers. I mean, what’s going on here? Thank goodness the music is extraordinary.

  • manou says:

    I see that some of you have been writing to CommandOpera :

    “Nevertheless, an endless stream of crude emails continually arrive (the most dedicated based in New York City) from the affronted who presume to feel they are equal”, and furthermore, “…with number of explicit profanities being sewn together illogically within the space of a single sentence.

    Maybe his blog could offer fluency, eloquence and syntax lessons to all those miscreants who do not equal his unparalleled CommandOlanguage.