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Ghost boaster

Can a day pass without the New York Times‘ 24/7 coverage of the Met’s Ring getting on yet another of La Cieca’s nerves? Apparently not. The quote du jour (from Susan Froemke‘s film about the Robert Lepage process) is after the jump, with La Cieca’s bitching to follow.  

“When you look at this,” Georges Nicholson, identified as a Wagner historian, said, watching an early stage of the machine’s construction, “you feel like this is finally the ‘Ring’ that Wagner would have wanted all along.”

“We are actually having the vision that Wagner had when he was composing,” Mr. Nicholson added.

Let’s unpack, shall we? First off all, M. Nicholson should be congratulated on his successful completion of a difficult double major, Wagner Studies and Necromancy. I mean, it’s one thing to be an expert on the composer, but what’s really impressive here is that the “historian” can communicate with the dead. (At the next séance, Georges, don’t forget to quiz the Meister on how he feels about exploding statue heads. We’re all eager to get his take on that.)

The second point here is that, at least as presented in the mini-review by James Oestreich, Nicholson“identified as a Wagner historian,” remember?could be taken for a disinterested observer; in other words, “here’s what the expert has to say.” In fact, Nicholson is on the payroll of either Ex Machina or the Met (he’s credited as “Musical Consultant” on the program for Götterdämmerung) and therefore essentially selling a product he helped to develop. One might as well ask Don Draper for his unbiased opinion on Cool Whip.

But it’s the Appeal to Dead and Buried Authority that makes me want to scream.

85 comments

  • 21
    Ilka Saro says:

    I suppose the trumpets were cracking and breaking on the sword motif as a sort of foreshadowing.

    • 21.1
      thirdlady says:

      v. funny ilka! trumpets were much improved in “siegfried” tonight…and erik ralske’s horn solo was positively magisterial…