Cher Public

How cher the public

You know, the commenters at parterre.com (pictured) may get a bit testy from time to time, but at least nobody here says stuff like, oh, for example, It is time that Mr. Levine and Mr. Gelb take leave and put the Met in the hand of managers who understand and treausre the traditional opera offerings and stop experimenting with off beat gay oriented trash productions better suited for small expermental venues.”  [wqxr.org]

  • Krunoslav

    Even ore transfixing than that display of A. M. Rosenthal-era homophobia is the presence on the comment list of:

    “Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, Nj from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ”

    HE WALKS AMONGST US!

  • EarlyRomantic

    If you thought it was impossible to have Emma_Kirkby-Sarah_Brightman-Charlotte_Church-Jackie_Evancho-Katherine_Jenkins-and-Lady_Gaga-rolled-into-one, here is a Simian “Simone” Kermes Mini-Festival. By this measure, Anna Netrebko is the Verdian Bel Cantist we never had.

    Santo di Patria

    Tacea la notte placida

    D’Amor sull’ali rosee…Miserere…Tu vedrai

    Casta Diva

    Bel raggio lusinghier

    • Buster

      And my favorite:

      • Krunoslav

        An outtake from her upcoming TV special, SIREN QUEEN OF BABYLON.

        I bet the queen who gave Obraztsova her DG contract is responsible for Sony promoting this fraud and a half.

    • La marquise de Merteuil

      Can’t wait for La Kermes to take on Turandot and make variations of the Riddle Scene -- it does repeat twice…

      Also, as La Malipasta pointed out to me those cries of Agamenon are just begging to be ornamented!

      • Can’t wait for La Kermes to take on Turandot and make variations of the Riddle Scene — it does repeat twice…

        Oh, that would be brilliant!

    • ML

      Truly dreadful, and yet she began legitimately a decade ago.

    • antikitschychick

      I actually really enjoyed the first three vids as well as the Rossini aria; thanks for posting these EarlyRomantic :-P. The ornamentations for the tacea were really quite something…and sure she’d never really be able to sing these roles live in a theater but that’s kind of the fun of recording them isn’t it? I realize she’s not to everyone’s liking and I respect that but I think she’s a fun performer…and she does have a legitimately trained voice so why not? I’d wouldn’t mind going to one of her concerts…imho the joy she exhibits in her singing is refreshing.

      • Flora del Rio Grande

        But, antikitsch, why does she move around like a
        cheer leader, or does she just mean to make kitsch?

        • antikitschychick

          lol I think she’s just high spirited…and at least she’s on pitch! :-D

  • whatever

    I thought Queens was supposed to be the new Brooklyn???

  • 98rsd

    Just wasted five minutes reading mostly idiotic comments on the QXR article…gel bis evidently the Antichrist.

  • YigeLi

    “beat gay oriented trash productions better suited for small expermental venues”?!?!?!

    As a foreigner, I feel Americans sometimes tend to be over-politically right. So, you can imagine how shocked I was when reading this. How dare anyone publically write this kind of stuff?! Shocking!

    And all those other comments… Are they mainstrem audience of opera (I have been following this blog for some time and have thought people here are the majority = =)? No wonder this artform is dying in the States…

    • ML

      Not dying, Yige.

  • Pelleas

    Hilarious that someone’s complaining about the Bondy Tosca being a “concept” production, since I found the lack of interesting concept it’s main failing, but there you go.

    • Feldmarschallin

      That Bondy Tosca is one of the most boring opera productions I have seen. Neither fish nor fowl.

      • ML

        +1

    • Cicciabella

      I would add that the Bondy Tosca is the most irritating Tosca I’ve ever seen, on stage or screen, because of the unbearable Personemregie. It’s far from a conceptual or abstract production, so you’d expect the characters to be believable, not a semi-comedic troupe. The Sacristan who is holier-than-thou and easily scandalised filling the holy water font from a cleaning bucket (what???!!!), Cavaradossi rolling his eyes and shaking his hand as if he’s in a Neapolitan farce, Tosca simpering, hysterically swaying and wringing her arms (I saw Mattila, who was horribly miscast and that didn’t help matters). The Scarpia business with the Madonna was nonsensical. A lecher in a position of power like Scarpia is most likely to be a religious hypocrite; he would never desecrate a statue in public like that (Madonna/whore dichotomy anyone?) Tosca taking penalty shots before she dies was the pits. An ghastly example of a director and cast portraying Italian characters as ludicrous caricatures. I hope it has been toned down since then.

      • Far be it from me to defend this production blindly, but I think your criticism lands you firmly in canard territory.

        The Sacristan who is holier-than-thou and easily scandalised filling the holy water font from a cleaning bucket

        It is possible to play the Sacristan as a hypocrite; that is, he is constantly deploring others’ transgressions but his own offenses, e.g., laziness, he overlooks or rationalizes.

        Cavaradossi rolling his eyes and shaking his hand as if he’s in a Neapolitan farce, Tosca simpering, hysterically swaying and wringing her arms

        A matter of interpretation. We ordinarily see these characters played as noble stereotypes, Cavaradossi strong and silent and Tosca dignified and pious. But that is not the only way to play them. It seemed to be Bondy’s take on the piece that all the characters were imperfect, rather pedestrian, even silly people caught up in wildly violent events out of their control. I don’t think the effect came off particularly well, but as an idea I think it can be justified by the words and music.

        The Scarpia business with the Madonna was nonsensical. A lecher in a position of power like Scarpia is most likely to be a religious hypocrite; he would never desecrate a statue in public like that (Madonna/whore dichotomy anyone?)

        Scarpia is not a real person. Scarpia is a lot of notes and words on some pieces of paper, and it’s up the the director and the interpreter of the role to decide what those notes and words mean. And some of those words are “Tosca, mi fai dimenticare Iddio!” followed by the notes established as the motif of Scarpia himself, played as a sort of coda to the “Te deum” hymn. It is hardly outrageous to interpret this combination of words and music as “For a moment, Scarpia’s lust overwhelms his piety (or pious act) and he “forgets” himself.

        The working-out of the scene was clumsy, but just because you personally found it distasteful does not mean that it was unjustified by the text.

        Tosca taking penalty shots before she dies was the pits.

        No clue what you are talking about here, but the sum of your arguments about the “unbearable” Personenregie seems to be that the opera wasn’t played the way you like to see it played. Fine, that’a a matter of taste. But your personal taste is not the basis for an aesthetic argument, particularly if the terms of the argument takes the form of “he would never…” All that statement means is “I”ve never seen anyone else do it that way.”

        • Cicciabella

          It’s fascinating how theatre elicits so many different reactions. Naturally Bondy was free to interpret the characters the way he did, even literally in the case of Scarpia. I was not making an absolute aesthetic argument, just describing my response to the production. To me the details of the characterisation did not ring true and bordered on the caricatural. Since the production was a realistic one, I don’t think it’s unfair to expect believable characters, but “believable” can mean different things to different people.

          For the record, I don’t think either Tosca or Cavaradossi are noble, dignified perfection. One of their perennial attractions is, in fact, that they are not. Tosca’s superstitious piety and jealous insecurity and Cavaradossi’s cockiness make them memorable, flesh-and-blood characters. When I see a new production, I want to be given new insight into the characters. It’s the director’s job to try to do this. What would be the point of going to new productions expecting replicated interpretation? In this case, I did not find Bondy’s interpretation enlightening or convincing. If others did, that’s great, and I have absolutely no problem with that.

          Re penalty shots: In the version I saw, Mattila kicked Scarpia’s soldiers several times in the final scene. She did it feistily, but to me it did not seem credible that she would keep kicking at them for so long without being seized, as they were armed and she was not.

  • oedipe

    To some people, “concept” = “too much of what I consider pornography”.

  • operaassport

    Gay oriented? Is that yokel serious? Public Radio -- what does one expect?

    Now that the Bondy Tosca is in Europe it’s even less interesting since they stripped all the filth away.

  • Jamie01

    I’m always up for some off beat gay oriented trash. What productions does he have in mind, since nothing I’ve seen at the Met in recent seasons qualifies.

    • sfmike

      Brava.

  • Clita del Toro

    I am getting tired of La Cieca jumping on my every post. Innigkeiit, schmigishkite,I am done here. Cieca

    • Feldmarschallin

      Oh Clita please stay.

      • Feldmarschallin

        BTW where is Camille? She has vanished from the face of the earth it seems and Marschiemarsch as well.

    • Clita: Your reaction is certainly understandable but I hope you don’t leave (or at least come back).

      • manou

        There was a Parterrian called Clita
        (In spite of his name no Lolita)
        He was minded to quit
        And walk off in a snit
        But we knew he was never a quitter.

        • Clita del Toro

          Manou! LOL

    • Your definition of “discussion” seems to be “I talk, you listen.” I look exception to your meaningless platitude about della Casa and instead of trying to defend your point of view, you are throwing a hissy fit.

      If you want to try to explain what it is about della Casa’s manner of performing Mozart that you miss in today’s performers (and that you seem to find so precious), you are more than welcome to do so. Others, in fact, have addressed this topic quite eloquently. But it seems to me all you were up to was using della Casa as a club to bash a singer you haven’t even heard yet. If that’s the level of your discourse, I can’t say this site or any site would miss your contributions.

    • laddie

      We’ve read this before. I am sure you will be back.

    • antikitschychick

      clita:

      ;-) :-P

  • La Valkyrietta

    Clita: I join the ones who urge you not to leave. How will a girl survive in this popoloso deserto dell’interneto without you? And without Camille and Marshiemark II? I think Camille said he had an important summer project, so I trust he will be back and when he does, he certainly will look for Clita’s posts. La Cieca is not bad, he likes opera. Feel flattered if he takes notice of your posts and, if not flattered, just think of La Cieca as a dark shadow.

    • ML

      Camille is a she, of course.

      • La Valkyrietta

        ML,

        Sorry, I certainly did not mean to offend, and I am sure Camille would know that, whether a she or a he, the good wishes are the same. Avatars are so confusing. I know for certain that La Cieca is a he and that manou is a she. As for the rest, I have theories that may be right or wrong. As for me, call me anything but late for the opera. :)

      • Camille

        http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/202185/Flower-Drum-Song-Movie-Clip-I-Enjoy-Being-a-Girl.html

        httpv://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/202185/Flower-Drum-Song-Movie-Clip-I-Enjoy-Being-a-Girl.html

        Love to all.
        Must remain focused on my business for the foreseeable future.

        Pax et bonum—
        Camille

        • La Valkyrietta

          Camille!

          Sorry for the mistake. A person can’t guess gender from a screen name that could be anything. For a while I thought Poison Ivy was a he. I will tell you, I thought you were a he because of your being captivated by Magda Olivero. I think the most ardent fanatics of the diva are gay guys, but of course there are exceptions to everything.

          Ah, a hundred million miracles ‘Flower Drum Song’! Ages ago I saw it on Broadway, but that song was sung by Pat Suzuki then,

          Much success on your business.

  • tpogto

    The current trouble with the MET Opera derives from the primordial sin of the MET Opera board which chose P.G. in 2006 to replace Joe Volpe. A highly respected German Director/Intendant was once offered MET’s GM job in 1980’s, but he declined it on the ground that James Levine was de-fact artistic dierctor. The rest is in the history.

    Why they chose such a person of no experience in this field to manage a performing arts enterprise spending an annual budget of hundreds of million dollars without a rigorous vetting process is truly incomprehensible.

    In addition, after his appointment the board has totally let P.G. loose in every aspect of running a world class opera house with a highly regarded creative/artistic reputation and the most comprehensive creative and technical operation. P.G. has so far fortified his own administrative offices with “agreeable staff” while dissenters have been immediately “escorted out” from his domain with the assistance of security guards.

    Perhaps he thinks he can cover for his lack of experience/ knowledge by appointing advisers/consultants from outside, such as Ioan Holender (the retired Intendant of Viennese Music Empire) and Eva Wagner (Formerly Co-Director of Bayreuth Festival and a disinherited daughter of Wolfgang Wagner). Even if the Board feels “privileged and delighted” that these two names have been enlisted by P.G. to serve the MET Opera, they cannot make up for lack of artistic sense at the top.

    P.G. seems to have convinced the Board and the press (especially the NY Times where he has nepotistic connections) that his HD broadcasts around the world are going to save the ship financially; but an honest accounting shows it is still leaking as attendance at the house itself falters. Nor can “co-productions” borrowed from abroad and fit onto the Met stage fully make up for lackluster productions designed in-house under P.G.’s guidance.

    Ever since this neurotic “Great Opera Impresario” in a camouflage of self-assured “promoter-supreme” took command, with his opera banners stretched on the front façade, the MET has steadily been sliding downhill. We are losing the great opera house. Whether Ms. Bubbly Sills truly recommended P.G. to the Board in her last breath before she passed away is a serious question.

    Certainly he never forgets to include his “portrait” at every occasion of press/video interview. Isn’t he using such occasions for his own propaganda at the expense of the MET?  His habit has become the norm, his gospel is louder with “invigoratingly breathtaking new Reggie” and the close-up oriented and heavily manipulated global HD television broadcasting of opera productions on stage.  Other observers doubt that global popularity of HD venture can quickly translate to a box office boom. It is not easy to estimate because of naive assumptions in his propaganda.  As soon as HD reached the peak of popularity -- then came his confession -- “HD is cannibalizing box office sales”.  The savior of the declining world of operatic art has quickly changed his Technicolor coat, and shamelessly starts drumming up his doomsday prophecy.
     
    The only way to save the MET Opera is to cut “Labor Cost” -- a very popular mantra of management here --  demanding lower basic pay and less overtime.   The fundamental biological question is, Who “creates” a season of opera production -- i.e. repertory, directors, singers and designers (designs) – and then come theatre workers (stagehands, electricians, wardrobes, etc.).  All elements are consequential -- when bad choices and decisions are made at the point of “conception” (planning the season) -- the result is what you have now!  The artistic management chose to invest extraordinarily high amounts of money for the physical opera environment.  That so much is spent for preminary construction and stagehands’ labor for building-up and taking-down afterward on stage, is not the stagehands’ fault -- it is entirely in the domain of MET Opera administrator. The orchestra musicians, singers, chorus groups, stagehands, electricians and all theatre tradesmen do not create “demands of work”.  They are the recipient of work requirements created by the management.  Thus, if one dreams of an ideal working relationship in the theatre (including opera house), the management and workers must work together to achieve the best result artistically and financially from the start – “immaculate conception”. It is in the college freshman carriculum -- “Theatre 101”.
     
    The current air at the MET is much worse than that of Beijing, China -- deadly poisonous.  They require a “mediator” of working environment as well as a financial one.  This poisonous atmosphere in the Met Opera would unfortunately remain for a long time after so called “Labor Issues” are resolved, unless this self-serving “Man of Opera” finds his way out.

    • Is it true that psychiatrists have devised a foolproof test for persecution mania which consists of adding up how many times a commenter uses unnecessary scare quotes?

      PS: If you want to continue to comment here, don’t just copy and paste the same rant you posted somewhere else. This kind of stuff is maybe okay for the bigots and coots who have crawled up Lebrecht’s ass, but we have a higher standard here at parterre.

    • operaassport

      Primordial sin? Are locusts next? Where do people get this shit?
      You know lithium has been around a long time, so has therapy. Avail yourself of healthy doses of both!

      • bluecabochon

        Toadying troll. School can’t start soon enough!

        • manou
        • operaassport

          You might check your mirror first before making such a profound contribution.

          • bluecabochon

            I guess I hit a nerve.

    • Krunoslav

      “invigoratingly breathtaking new Reggie”

      Even as a pre-teen I found Reggie kind of hot. If they made a breathtaking new ARCHIE movie today, who would play him? Who is the high school version of Matt Bomer?

      • Uncle Kvetch

        Even as a pre-teen I found Reggie kind of hot. If they made a breathtaking new ARCHIE movie today, who would play him?

        I’ll just leave this here.

      • “Invigoratingly breathtaking” was only one of the rave “crits” of Reggie’s conducting of the The Mastersingers at the “Wells.”

      • operaassport

        High School version of Matt Bomer could be Dylan Sprayberry on Teen Wolf :)

      • Gualtier M

        This Reggie can invograte me, take my breath away, hump my day any time….

        http://swoonworthy.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/reggie-bush-shirtless.jpg

        • Feldmarschallin

          Get in line Gualtier….

        • manou

          I had not heard of invograting bofore. You do learn something once a day on Parterre…

        • Jamie01

          Kim Kardashian’s ex! It’s clearly her world, and we just live in it.

    • Signor Bruschino

      Eva Wagner has been an advisor to the Met since 1996, so she was not appointed by Gelb… might want to fact check a bit before ranting so much

      • Arianna a Nasso

        Speaking of fact checking, the Met Board chose Gelb to replace Volpe in 2004, not 2006. His tenure as GM began in 2006.

    • olliedawg

      Manufactured and bloviated Gelb-bashing has, over the past several weeks, become tiresome, not to mention downright creepy.
      Please.
      Enough already.

      • ML

        Why enough? He’s a highly paid public figure in the midst of tough talks that will impact the lives of thousands of working people and possibly close a big opera house for several months.

    • Mairsydoats

      Eva is still at Bayreuth, she was formerly at Aix. As far as a “vetting process” that really involves sussing out and “Zoe Baird problems.” As far as I know, there’s no hint of scandal or impropriety in Gelb’s background. I think it’s a bit rich to say that Gelb has created a poisonous atmosphere at the Met. Ask anyone who worked under the prior GM what being “Volped ” was.

  • tpogto

    Dear Le Cieca: I have only posted “my gripes” on the Slipped Disk on July 12. My ingnorance! Are Slipped Disk,Intermezzo and others are inter-related, thus I am not allowed to post my “rants” more than once on them?
    Anyway, sincere apologies for such ingnornace.

  • A. Poggia Turra

    Note: If you have access to RAI-5 (or the live webstream), the Pesaro Armida is currently being shown:

    http://www.rai.tv/dl/RaiTV/dirette/PublishingBlock-5d691044-de91-4942-8c9c-4b9bda4b8b79.html?channel=Rai%205

  • liza

    In 1960 Pres. Kennedy ordered the Sec. of Labor to arbitrate (binding legal decision) MET labor dispute. Pres. Carter appointed mediator (non-binding) in 80’s. I don’t think Pres. Obama is unlikely to get involved because I don’t think he would see this as particularly important. But I’m waiting to see which officials might. Any opinions? I think it’s good that the public is passionate about this conflict. It means people still believe the MET belongs to them. When the audience no longer cares about the narrative then I would worry. Can we cut people some slack here and let them express their feelings? It just means the MET is alive!

    • olliedawg

      liza: Couldn’t agree more about the passion these negotiations have elicited. There are many NYC officials who’ve expressed their concerns. So far, none has been directly involved, at least as far as the public is concerned. But, who knows about behind-the-scenes pressures from DiBlasio or Cuomo.

      On the other hand…tpogto’s aside (“especially the NY Times where he has nepotistic connections…”) is not only an unsubstantiated assertion, but is as loony as 9/11-as-inside-job and other conspiracy theories.

      • liza

        II think his father was an editor.

        • liza
        • olliedawg

          No link necessary. I remember his old man, who was a big shot at the NYT about 100 years ago. And, he’s dead. Give it a rest.

          • liza

            Think Sulzberger says it best.

          • overstimmelated
          • bluecabochon

            ??? If you knew that Peter Gelb’s father was Arthur Gelb, then why write this?

            “On the other hand…tpogto’s aside (“especially the NY Times where he has nepotistic connections…”) is not only an unsubstantiated assertion, but is as loony as 9/11-as-inside-job and other conspiracy theories.”

            Prove that PG has no ties to anyone the NYTimes today. Read that nauseating Maureen Dowd puff piece if you don’t think that link exists today!

            • “Anyone” and “nepotistic” are not the same thing.

              And even if Gelb was pulling the “remember my father” string to get Maureen Dowd’s column, what of it? Everyone has connections of one type or another, and most people use those connections when there is a perceived need. I mean, if you knew a New York Times op-ed columnist and you were fighting a battle for public opinion, what would you do, say, “oh, that wouldn’t be fair?”

              For heaven’s sake, part of the job description of the Met’s general manager used to be “connections.” That’s basically all Schuyler Chapin had going for him: he was a walker for Mrs. August Belmont and chums with Leonard Bernstein, and he married Steinway pianos.

              And what would have happened to Joseph Volpe’s career if his father-in-law hadn’t nabbed him his first job at the Met?

            • bluecabochon

              Again, just to keep this on track, my response was to Olliedawg, who commented that Gelb’s “nepostic connection…is not only an unsubstantiated assertion, but is as loony as 9/11-as-inside-job and other conspiracy theories.”

              Not so unsubstantiated or loony, as it turns out.

            • operaassport

              Not nearly as looney as you, blue bubble. Did you dream all this up while communing with the alligators in the sewers?

            • bluecabochon

              Yes, I did. And they are wondering where you’ve been,

            • Nepotism is the practice of those in power favoring their relatives, which arguably Arthur Gelb did when Peter was associated with the Boston Symphony in the late 1970s, i.e., when the younger Gelb was about 25. At that time some said Arthur was ordering an undue amount of coverage of the BSO in the Times.

              Arthur retired from the Times in 1989, i.e., 15 years before Peter was hired by the Met.

              “Nepotistic connections” is a meaningless phrase. Everyone has connections: through friendship, through previous jobs, through college or prep school. Joe Volpe got his first job at the Met because his father-in-law was already on the crew. One of my first big scoops at parterre box I got because I happened to be showering at the Y next to a publicist who was working with a Met soprano. Nepotism is an accusation of undue influence, and I challenge you to demonstrate that Arthur Gelb (in his retirement) ordered or “influenced” the New York TImes to violate journalistic ethics to favor Peter Gelb or the Met.

              Unless you can do that, all you’ve got is, “Peter is related to Arthur, and Arthur used to work at the Times and sometimes the Times gives the Met favorable press coverage” — that, and the massive chip on your shoulder.

              The Met got favorable coverage in the Times before Peter Gelb arrived at the Met. Bernard Holland liked everything he saw and heard there, and the paper faithfully transcribed Volpe’s diatribes against Kathleen Battle, Jonathan Miller, Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna. What sort of nepotistic connection was operating then?

            • bluecabochon

              Oh dear, is that all it is? A massive chip on my shoulder? I’ll take it under advisement, as should anyone else who has a problem with the actions of Gelb & Co. All thousands of us.

            • overstimmelated

              “Bernard Holland liked everything he saw and heard there”

              You mean like his review of William Matteuzzi’s debut, where he wrote: “…if mediocrity is what the Met will settle for, would it not be easier -- and less expensive -- in this talent-rich city simply to walk to the sidewalks of Broadway and call out for a Rossini tenor? I’m sure the company’s operatives would find at least three passing Americans on any evening who might have equaled, and perhaps surpassed, Thursday’s wan performance”?

            • You’re right. I missed one review from a quarter century ago of a singer with a two-performance Met career. You’ve blown my argument to smithereens, you have.

            • Krunoslav

              Oh, just saw this. So it was Holland, not Crutchfield.

              Holland also liked the Millo/Zajick duet he reviewed in the second part of some gala (was it the Tucker?) despite the duet not ever having taken place-- Millo had gone home at intermission, and apparently Holland did too. That seems to be what finally allowed them to hose out that particular perch.

            • Gualtier M

              The event was Eve Queler’s 100th performance at Carnegie Hall in 2008. Bernard Holland’s review had to be corrected -- twice. The “Mira o Norma” duet with La Millo and Zajick was to take place in the first half.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/08/arts/music/08quel.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0

              Supposedly Holland did show up that night -- but did he stay? The very next year during a changeover in editor, Mr. Holland accepted an early retirement buyout along with many other senior arts editors like Jennifer Dunning.

            • Gualtier M

              BTW: this was covered in this very blog:

              http://parterre.com/2008/03/09/nadir/

              Just as bad was Edward Rothstein’s review of the 1994 opening night of the Met Opera season -- a double bill of Pagliacci and Tabarro. Pavarotti and Stratas. Rothstein put on a weary tone and said “How many times has Pavarotti put on the motley and Stratas banged the drum???” Well, it was Pavarotti’s first Canio ever and certainly his first at the Met. Stratas hadn’t sung Nedda in something like 20 years at the Met. Fail. The review was not corrected but had to be totally rewritten and republished in toto the next day’s edition. Rothstein left the music reviewing post shortly thereafter -- I think that is when Tony Tom joined the Times.

            • overstimmelated

              It’s true, I tend to confuse these two critics in retrospect but Holland evidently liked Scotto’s Norma (1981) a lot more than Donal Henahan did, for example. Henahan, reviewing the opening night, wrote: “…But when she was forced to sing full out in the upper regions, intonation and vocal technique deserted her. She scooped and slurred and wobbled. She had a hard time of it in the florid passages, concentrating her vocal and dramatic efforts on building up a kind of crude intensity that soon became tiresome.” But in Holland’s generally positive review of Trittico later that season, the only complaint about the Norma was: “In her troubled ‘Norma’ at the beginning of the season, much of bel canto’s sensuousness of sound, unfortunately, seemed thrown out along with the excess stylistic baggage.”

            • Krunoslav

              Rothstein is also renowned for his dunderheaded estimation of the very off-form Behrens for the ELEKTRA prima of 1992, a performance which combined the aural charm of Anny Konetzni’s late-career Florence reading with the legato of Tom Waits.

              Rothstein:

              “The singing was also almost always larger than life. Hildegard Behrens was in fine vocal shape as Elektra. Apart from a few slides into notes, she made this most demanding role seem almost easy: her pitch was sure; she easily rode the orchestra for all it was worth.””

              Since he was kicked upstairs, he has written numerous soi-disant “think pieces” denouncing minority museums and exhibits for stating or presenting non-neoconservative takes on their own histories and making sure that any and all claims of the universality of art are associated with Jewish and (preferably heterosexual) artists. One of the dumbest TIMES writers ever.

      • Mairsydoats

        Sheesh, Dowd wrote in the first paragraph of her column that Peter’s father was her mentor. So what?

    • Sempre liberal

      “I don’t think Pres. Obama is unlikely to get involved because I don’t think he would see this as particularly important.”

      Scalia? Ginsburg?

      I’d appoint a 3 judge celebrity operagoer panel to arbitrate featuring frequent METgoers: Barbara Cook (sometimes seen in Grand Tier center), John Lithgow (right aisle, center orchestra ~20 rows back), and pornstar Michael Lucas (also orchestra).

      • operaassport

        If they moved the MET to a golf course, perhaps Obama would notice :)

        • Krunoslav

          If they moved operaasswipe to a Munitions Testing Site, perhaps we’d rejoice.

        • la vociaccia

          Because of course Obama is the only president in recent history to play golf….

          Dontcha know? Obama is also responsible for Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the BP oil spill, and for every time you accidentally bite your tongue while chewing

  • liza

    I don’t think Pres. Obama is likely….

  • sfmike

    I know that Peter Gelb Is A Fucking Genius because it’s a category on this very site, but I’d never heard that Peter Gelb Is A Fucking Gay before. Am I the last to know or was it just a sweeping crazy generalization by the “off beat gay” hater?

  • liza

    A walker, how quaint.

  • operaassport

    La Cieca: you are asking these trolls to deal in facts and logic. Good luck with that. They’re like those people “clinging to their guns and religion” where Peter Gelb is concerned. Peter Gelb bad in a grunting guttural time is their mantra, nothing gonna change that as it explains everything for them.

  • operaassport

    *tone … Damn autocorrect!