Cher Public

Not nobody, not nohow!

“Mr. Luisi won praise replacing Mr. Levine time after time, particularly in a costly version of Wagner’s Ring cycle—though, perhaps in a sign of the situation’s delicacy, the two conductors have never met in person.” [New York Times]

  • oscar

    Ah! quella donna, mi fa tanta paura! tanta paura!

  • Krunoslav

    OK, forget about the Kremlin. We’re talking *Pyongyang* crazy…

  • Gualtier M

    This article by Mr. Woolfe answers a lot of questions and raises a few others. The NYT article by Michael Cooper was originally set to announce Mr. Levine’s retirement before the announcement of the 2016-2017 season. Then Mr. Levine’s doctor gave him an excuse to again delay the inevitable and again Mr. Gelb decided to let Levine hang on a little longer. So the NYT article became about Mr. Levine hanging on. Meanwhile, Woolfe’s article about Luisi shows the ancillary fallout from Gelb and Levine’s actions/inaction.

    We are left to ponder the motivations of the people involved. In Levine’s case they are easy to divine -- he doesn’t have much of a life outside of his career and he is elderly, infirm and increasingly disabled. After Boston no other major musical organization will hire him as a principal conductor or musical director. Gelb is a power junkie and control freak -- a weak, non-present musical director leaves those artistic and musical decisions faute de mieux to Gelb. Perhaps Luisi found Gelb obstructive to his ambitions to lead the company artistically and musically and decided that Florence and Zurich were more congenial and accepting of his authority? Wouldn’t Gelb be equally problematic for the new music director whether YN-S or AN? Sometimes change has to be big and sweeping and replacing both the GM and Musical Director at once might be the best move. How about Deborah Borda (the original choice before Bubbles put her hand in -- if she can poached from the L.A. Phil) and Yannick Nézet-Seguin (if he can combine it with the Philly Orchestra?)?

    • blansac

      I’ve been hoping for a YNS/Borda combination too.

      The thing is, with Gelb possibly still having breakfast with Ann Ziff every week, it’s not going to be possible to get him out. If Gelb is booted, Ann would presumably cut back her donations and another board member or members would have to make up the millions of dollars she probably gives.

      • Operanaut

        Unclear to my why Borda would want to go from an organization like the LA Phil with its beautiful facilities and adventurous programming to a creaking house like the Met, with its aging infrastructure and notoriously conservative clientele.

  • RosinaLeckermaul

    I found this Times story more disturbing than the last one. The “Music Director” of the Met has never been face to face with its Principal Conductor, the maestro who is presiding over three operas this Spring including a new production and a major new production next season? If we ever doubted that the Met doesn’t really have a Music Director, this clinches it. Time for the Met board to do a reality check.

    • steveac10

      Now that there have been two fairly odd Met related stories in the times in as many days, one has to wonder if it’s not all planned to not so subtly undermine support for Levine and the donors that are propping him up.

      As to Borda as some have discussed above, I have to think if she was really interested in running an opera company it would have happened at least a decade ago, rumors that she was usurped by Gelb for the Met job at the last minute notwithstanding. When it comes to running an performing organization nobody can touch her track record -- but she’s never veered from running orchestras. And at this point, would she even want to move or a new challenge? She’s closing in on retirement age and may well be ready to slow down, not pick up, the pace.

      • mrsjohnclaggart

        Borda was HIRED to run the Met, deal sealed with a handshake. Then A. Gelb who had been the main factor in the Times’ promoting of one, “Bubbles” Sills as “great” called in a favor.

        His ne’er do well son, Peter, not even a college graduate, who had been kicked out of a subsidiary position at the Met by Joe Volpe (college graduate cum laude — college of hard knocks INSIDE the met from bottom up) for a combination of incompetence and attitude was about to be canned by Sony, where he had fucked up big time mostly through incompetence and bad planning and because everyone who worked there hated him with many thinking him a fool. Could she change minds at the last second at the Met?

        She could and did. She shoved Borda under the next bus and got them to hire somebody who knew less about opera than any of the Bored Housewives of Beverly Hills but was dumber and had showed genuine managerial incompetence at Sony that had put the organization at risk.

        Ironically Sills was bad mouthing Gelb within nine months of his appointment. She admitted she had made a terrible mistake.

        Borda is a musician with an advanced degree from The Royal College of Music. She is a passionate “opera intellectual” with a wide grasp of the repertory. She is a brilliant person; she has enormous managerial skill but it is rooted in a love of music. She wanted the Met job badly. If something other than existing contracts would stop her going back it is hatred of how she was treated.

        I worked for Gelb freelance at Sony. He knew nothing about anything. The “old timers” hated him; they had spent their lives recording and selling classical music against the odds. They knew instantly that he knew nothing about that. The newer hires often didn’t last. They thought he was incompetent, unreliable and inconsistent.

        He killed ALL historical programs, including the biggest, which had had a modest (break even to tiny profit) success and had lifted Sony’s profile worldwide because of its careful treatment of material generally impossible to find, in far better sound than the occasional pirate, with genuinely useful notes and recording info. They read this (rightly, in my opinion) as indicating someone not only with no knowledge of the business but no respect for it and no understanding of how symbolism can create a floor on which to build an interest in new projects.

        He used tiny loopholes to get out of contracts with artists. He let manager friends persuade him to record nonstarter clients. He made a deal with La Scala to record live performances that musical staff told him would not sell ANYWHERE (Manon Lescaut conducted by Maazel with Rautio and Dvorsky?). I remember the rage of a long time member of staff at the deal made with “that bum” Maazel who hadn’t had even a moderately successful recording in twenty years. The conductor (“a bore”) was given HUGE advances on big royalties on CDs these people were convinced would sell NOTHING (they were right).

        Engineers warned him that Scala was a bad recording venue empty, and worse, live. They pointed out that Decca had at considerable expense semi-built a studio in Milan to record “Scala” performances. He ignored them.

        He had no ideas of how to move or promote classical product and established artists who had been decent sellers were shocked to find on tour that their newest CD and the one before often was unknown to their fans, and not available at local record stores or in the venues where they were performing.

        He pushed Licitra and Alvarez who hated one another into a joint recording of “crossover”, which cost a fortune, was awful and sank without a trace. His “big idea” was to record movie soundtracks, a “so what” enterprise.

        His patterns have continued at the Met. He doesn’t delegate, doesn’t take advice, has no respect for expert or highly experienced staff people, has spent unwisely and extravagantly to no gain (the true story of how “The Ring was built” is a shocker and I wonder if it will ever be reported). His handling of the unions pushed dislike of him into loathing — since they are a high-cost ARMY — a bad managerial mistake.

        Jimmy did me a huge favor once at Bayreuth where I got into big trouble and I like and respect him. But I am very sorry it has come to this. His medical condition is his own business and shouldn’t be in the New York Times. Nor should he be strongarmed by an idiot like Gelb into becoming a palsied prop in a game of self-promotion. I wonder if his monstrous manager, Wilford, dead at last, would have allowed this?

        Of course, the orchestra has declined. They have lost a number of crucial players, originally recruited by Jimmy, who feeling the ship was sinking and hating Gelb put the word out and are now in major positions with great orchestras. Someone I know well can hardly contain his loathing of Gelb but also feels that Levine has stayed too long and should have negotiated a luxurious emeritus position years ago. The health issue is not sudden. I mentioned it here years ago and was viciously attacked. I also mentioned that Gelb has been trying to get rid of Levine from his first seasons. They are NOT a team.

        Gelb will win, time is on his side. I expect a “farewell” gala (whatever they call it) for Levine in May 2017.

        I think all the speculations about YNS and Andris are doubtful. YNS is insanely ambitious and the Met does not offer more or better advantages for him than Philadelphia, no huge prize perhaps, but a significant and prominent foothold in North America and if it can right itself during his tenure a genuine conduit to bigger and better jobs in Europe.

        Certainly he will continue to conduct at the Met as long as their checks clear but he is addicted to guest engagements (and in fact, has been asked by administration in Philly to curtail them, he is often jet-lagged, exhausted and not as well prepared in rep as he needs to be).

        Boston is still considered one of the great orchestras in the world. For AN to leave there to be the hand puppet of a fool would make sense only if Boston fell apart for him, and even then he’s well enough respected in Europe that he’ll land on his feet even if he had to “endure” a few seasons of lucrative guest conducting.

        None of these conductors is stupid and all are cut throat to a degree (it is the profession at their level). Luisi took a job he thought would lead to power and influence only to find he was told to shut up, wave his arms and get out of town when no longer needed. Of course, Levine saw him as a threat and wasn’t going to cultivate him — and is an experienced enough infighter to know that Luisi was brought in as leverage against him.

        There are complaints to be made against Levine but I feel very sorry for him. Gelb will win. And that’s sad too.

        • Bill

          Mrs JC -- completely illuminating post -- we learn so much -- keep broadcasting information. The political shenanigans at the Met as recently reported regarding Levine and Gelb are reaching grand operatic proportions. I only wish the recent on stage performances themselves at the Met could approach that level of interest. Off to Vienna and Bratislava and Brno -- one never knows in Bratislava -- perhaps the next Popp, Gruberova or Benackova will surface. Unlike New York City -- Bratislava has TWO opera houses functioning under one management with a varied repertoire.

          • mrsjohnclaggart

            Thank you, Bill. I’m glad you read it. The whole history of the Gelb years I think is amazing and he’s gotten away with it, indeed, was worshipped for a time. If you want a scoop on how the institutions within Lincoln Center work, and indeed, how incompetently several of them have been run, you should read “They told me not to take that job” by Reynold Levy who was President of Lincoln Center from 2002-14. His book is astoundingly frank, although not about Gelb (he does end his consideration of the Met under Gelb with a carefully worded warning, though).

            However, he is shocking about Joe Volpe and venomous about the whole City Opera mess starting with Paul Kellogg who he thought was an idiot and reaching burn level contempt about George Steele and his board chair. He is also withering (and names names) about the New York Philharmonic’s management, including Mr. Maazel, and toward the end of the book clearly wonders if the orchestra can survive.

            Levy is a virtuoso of huge Not-for-Profit endeavors both artistic and non-artistic and nails every mistake. I suspect he would view this latest jape of Gelb’s as a serious mistake in branding.

            Levy feels that branding is crucial to the kind of fundraising that must be done by these huge institutions. He thinks Kellogg did a lot to sink City Opera by harping to the NY Times that one couldn’t hear there, leading people to think, “why would I give money to an opera house where you can’t hear?” and persuading ordinary people to drop their subscriptions, and/or stop attending.

            I suspect he’d wonder if the messages being sent are that the Met is unstable and if not in chaos, confused in priorities and not entirely professional in conduct. He might wonder if a good manager would have found a way to head off a crisis of this kind and solve the problems internally with as little publicity about them as possible.

            He might wonder if a very capable and experienced conductor such as Luisi shouldn’t have had his position and prospects more carefully defined, and been handled with more tact to forestall a clear public fuck you to the institution.

            And he might wonder why Gelb can’t bear to hire a genuine Musical Director with the prerogatives one would expect such a figure to have. Borda, having weathered a borderline psychotic like Kurt Masur and seen her institution flourish anyway, would have as her first order of business finding a musician partner, on the same page as much as possible, and giving them the leeway the position demands.

            But I don’t expect the institution to capsize just yet, or Gelb to go anytime soon. Have a nice trip. And I think “One never knows in Bratislava” would be a great title for something!!!

            • grimoaldo

              “I’m glad you read it”

              I read it too, wow, what an interesting and devastating inside insight.

              “the true story of how “The Ring was built” is a shocker and I wonder if it will ever be reported”

              Well, please, go right ahead, can’t wait to hear it.

            • Yes, thank you, MrsJC. Perhaps you might also enlighten us how Gelb maintains the support of the board through an administration which is a disaster fiscally and a mixed bag -- at best -- artistically?

        • Lee B. Ahmo

          Thank you for this!

        • Stendhal

          Many thanks for this post. Fascinating insight and of more value in understanding what is going on than anything else I’ve read.

  • blansac

    That is an unusual hobby Luisi has. I’m fascinated by this.

    I know some traveling musicians pick up a hobby for the loneliness and boredom of the road, photography seems popular, but making perfume is not something I would have guessed any did.

    • The Poet Lenski

      I believe that Maestro Luisi has a degree in chemistry. Not really weird if you put it in that context, and there are certainly stranger hobbies even without.

      • antikitschychick

        Ohh if that’s the case it makes perfect sense then and yes you’re right.

  • antikitschychick

    I agree the fragrances thing is kind of weird but we all have our weird quirks so I’m not judging lol and he’s a great conductor besides. It is rather sad that Luisi and Levine have never met. Am glad I will be hearing Luisi conduct live in the Cav/Pag finally. He says that he and the Met never intended for him to be MD but they must have considered it at one point even if he isn’t the extroverted type they would want. I really just wish they would finalize a plan so that the speculation will stop, as fun as it was to read La Cieca’s piece & some of the comments there’s uncertainty in the air, especially after all the questions and concerns raised by these NY Times articles and that doesn’t really bode well for the Met’s image. But I recognize the questions and concerns invite discussions and speculation because there’s really nothing else to do at this point.

  • Hippolyte

    I admire Luisi but I was rather hoping the new Tell was going to be conducted by Mariotti who did such a great job with Donna del Lago. Let us pray the Don Giovanni revival has a Donna Elvira other than Frittoli or Bell!

    • RosinaLeckermaul

      Agree that Mariotti is excellent with Rossini, but so is Luisi if his CENERENTOLA is any indication.

      • Porgy Amor

        Indeed. Cenerentola was one of the best things Luisi has done at the Met. Very elegant.

        I don’t get Mariotti’s rave reviews.

    • steveac10

      Per Future Met Wiki it’s Marina Rebeka, with Gerzmava as Anna. My instincts tell me that’s probably reversed.

      • antikitschychick

        Yes I saw that as well and I really can’t picture Gerzmava getting through the killer tessitura of Donna Anna but we’ll see. Speaking of Marina Rebeka though, she is a singer I was not familiar with until very recently when I listened to some concert/opera excerpts and a trailer for a Mozart recording she did and I very much liked what I heard, although I am surprised to see her described as a “dramatic coloratura” and was even more surprised to see she is sharing the role of Norma with AN and Angela Meade in 2 seasons at the Met. Am wondering if her voice sounds much larger/more ample live in the house? She seems like a lyric coloratura to me. Anyway she is a singer I’d very much like to hear live so will try and catch her in Guillaume Tell next season.

        • antikitschychick

          Also, would like to add that I wish they would cast her (Marina Rebeka) or Sonya Yoncheva opposite Grigolo in R&J instead of Damrau (if indeed there will be a run of R&J next season), although I know she and Grigolo were a successful pairing in Manon last season, I just don’t think R&J is the right vehicle for them unless the production is updated. I also can’t picture DD as J at this stage of her career even though she is a good actress and can probably pull it off. Also, why are they casting Piotr Bezcala opposite Sonya Yoncheva in Luisa Miller instead of Michael Fabiano (as Rodolfo)?? That seems like a missed opportunity to me considering the age gap b/t Sonya and Piotr. Granted he doesn’t look like he’s close to 50 but still. A a new traume par would be nice.

          • Bill

            Hong sang Juliette at not so young an age filling in and was quite impressive.

            • antikitschychick

              Yeah I realize that some performers, to their credit, are able to effectively portray characters that are much younger than they are in real life and I recognize that DD is a great performer but I just think there are roles she would be better suited for dramatically than J at this point in her career although vocally she can probably sing that part very well. Speaking of Hong, I saw that she is scheduled to sing some performances of Madame Butterfly in March. Think I will try and catch one of those.

        • armerjacquino

          Gerzmava has sung the HOFFMANN heroines and Lucia, so she ought to be able to get through Anna. I agree that Rebeka is more likely to be playing it, though.

          • UpB7

            I am certain that Marina Rebeka would do a really good job as Donna Elvira.
            However, I would much rather she sing Donna Anna instead, and I hope she does sing Donna Anna again and not Donna Elvira.
            She had the role of Donna Anna down, both vocally and dramatically. I’d love to hear her do it once more.

          • Krunoslav

            Armer, Gerzmava’s Lucia days are far behind her. The top, when not approached carefully, is often occluded and strident-- she certainly couldn’t handle Antonia’s part of the Trio. It’s a billowing, gorgeous sound; the technique and sense of style and command of Italian are all highly questionable. No Donna Anna- they might buy that kind of Mozart style in Moscow, but…

            Rebeka a much better fit for Anna.

        • UpB7

          In response to the subject of Marina Rebeka’s fach, I think that she is neither a dramatic coloratura soprano nor a lyric coloratura soprano. I think that she is a lyric soprano -- with a voice that is both a juicy, sweet full lyric voice and agile enough for certain coloratura, runs, and jumps. That being said, she might have been a lyric coloratura in the past or she might have always been a lyric capable of performing some coloratura and fioritura. Somewhere it was mentioned that she used to sing Lucia. None of her roles, current or in the near future, are quite coloratura soprano roles. Still, her voice is quite agile and her range is broad. On a recent album, she recorded “Der hoelle Rache” among various Mozart arias. I heard her rendition of that aria, and she nailed it! (Even more remarkable, considering that she never sang the Queen of the Night role on stage, if I am not mistaken.)

          If I remember correctly, the roles in Rebeka’s rep over the last four to five years through the present are, or include: both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira, Liu, Musetta, Tatyana, Fiordiligi, Mathilde, Anne Trulove, Juliette, Countess Almaviva, and Violetta. Mainly lyric soprano roles.

          I have heard her live twice, and her voice sounds like a full lyric soprano, perhaps slightly larger than many lyric sopranos -- but not a spinto and not a dramatic, and not a coloratura (of either the lyric or dramatic subsets) and not with any of the traditional timbres that are often linked with coloraturas. Her voice does sound a little bit bigger live than it did in her studio recording. It sounded a little larger/a little more ample than the voices of Kovalevska, Cabell, Persson, and Phillips -- all of whom are lyric sopranos, and all of whom I have heard live, and all of whom I like as well.

          Marina Rebeka’s voice is lyric, vibrant, with good natural vibrato. Her voice is smoother than Netrebko’s voice is or ever was, and I have heard Netrebko live as well. It is not as dark as Netrebko’s or as heavy as Netrebko’s either. Marina Rebeka’s Donna Anna is one of the best Donna Annas that I have ever heard anywhere. Perhaps it is partly because her voice is a lyric voice. I simply am not too keen on the sounds of spinto soprano Donna Annas, let alone dramatic soprano Donna Annas. I am not crazy about lyric coloratura soprano Donna Annas either. This role somehow, for me, works best when it is sung by a lyric soprano who well and truly has agility in her voice.
          One way to describe Rebeka’s lyric soprano voice is that it has the shimmer of Lucia Popp with the Italianità and the agility of Anna Moffo in her prime. I will also add that I think Rebeka can sing fast fioritura runs better than even Popp in her prime.

          By the way, I am not crazy about the thought of Diana Damrau singing Juliette either -- not because of Damrau’s age, but because of Damrau’s harsh, strident voice, with its heavy, bracing, and racing vibrato. I think Rebeka herself would be a better choice for Juliette. Or Hong, too. Or Cabell.

          • antikitschychick

            UpB7, thank you for that wonderfully detailed analysis. I completely agree with you and I think your description of her voice as having “[the]shimmer of Lucia Popp with the Italianità and the agility of Anna Moffo” is spot on and actually, the very first thing I saw of her was a clip of her performing “Or Sai, chi l’onore” and she was superb. Her rep is also pretty varied as you note. Just saw there are very recent clips of her singing Norma on Youtube so will check those out.

            Armerj: fair enough but I should add that, as I’m sure you know, that role, or any Mozart role really, requires singers to have complete, or near-complete control of their voice. The light orchestration leaves the voice very exposed and the sustained lines in the passagio region (for sopranos) and numerous intervals/leaps requires that you hit the notes dead on. Based on the live experience of hearing her Liu and the review of the recital she gave in NY shortly after, it is fair to say she has some technical flaws, one of which is intonation. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what a disaster faulty intonation in Mozart can be. But maybe by then she’ll have sorted out some of those technical issues, or perhaps Donna Anna is a more congenial role for her? Who knows. All I know is, she is an effective performer but I heard very troubling things during that Turandot. She did get a warm reception from the audience but the singing was, esp quite frankly, pretty inconsistent.

    • Jenufa

      FutureMet Wiki lists Marina Rebeka as Donna Elvira but I know for a fact that she will not be singing this part. She will however sing Mathilde in “Guillaume Tell”. Also I heard that Rolando Villazon will be singing Don Ottavio, perhaps sharing the part with Polenzani who is listed on Wiki as of yet. Does anyone know if that’s true? He supposedly mentioned it to his fan club.

  • John L

    It is odd and seemingly improbable that they never have met. I would think that that distance was made at the request of Levine and not Luisi. I saw an interview of Luisi on CP Online channel on YouTube. Much of what he says in the video interview and my impression of him goes along with what he says in this article. Check the interview out, his perfume hobby might make more sense after watching it.

    • John L

      Sorry the YouTube channel is “Classic Talk” with Bing and Dennis.

    • DonCarloFanatic

      It’s all of a piece. If you read the descriptions of Levine’s way of dealing with people he does not want to work with, it’s all charming sincerity and evasion and letting someone else deliver the bad news. Yes, many singers praise him; his achievements with the orchestra are well known. But his manner of ousting people is to treat them as non-people, and what better way to do that than to never meet them in the first place?

      I think Gelb is on the horns of a dilemma. Levine is so entrenched and so popular that Gelb dare not be seen to push him out, even though it’s fairly obvious that the man doesn’t have the health to do the full job anymore. If Levine would be sensible and recognize that, yes, there really are other people who could do this job, he could step down to a less taxing situation and retain his honored emeritus status.

  • davidhenry

    i was so shocked when I read that line about the two of them never having met. But apparently very few of you all are surprised, and that in itself sends a tremendous message. What an inconceivable level of egotism.

    On a related note, I was at a Met Students pre-performance casino party for a Rigoletto a couple of months ago and Levine rolled through twice, both times quite brusquely and flanked by subordinates. When I first saw him, I foolishly thought for a moment that he might be inclined to spend a second or two talking with the next generation of opera lovers. Yeah right.

  • me

    It seems unabashedly incompetent for a Music Director to (and be allowed to) never meet, over many years no less, the Principal Conductor of the House. The Met is an astoundingly dysfunctional family. So few people, with such a large budget, and common sense and artistry lacking — the board is mostly (fully) to blame, and the fact that it seems a few rich folk (and the NY taxpayer) fund the house but don’t act as a competent board and hire and fire folk as needed

    • Chenier631

      I too was rather shocked to read that Luisi and Levine have never met in person.
      I simply can’t fathom that Levine could give a reasonable excuse for this.
      This fact is a clear indication that Levine has been hugely negligent in his role as music director for the past few seasons.
      I am not surprised at Luisi’s comments regarding Levine and how the Met needs a strong hand to lead as music director.
      Luisi simply stated what everyone knows already, and I see no disrespect in that.
      It can be no mere coincidence that this article came out just a couple of days after the article on Levine surfaced.
      Something is clearly brewing at the Met over Levine’s future there.
      I am curious to see then the 2016-2017 season announcement comes out if they actually have Levine penciled in for the Rosenkavalier and Pelleas, as rumoured.
      I think that Gelb and the board should do what’s right for the Met and insist Levine retire once and for all, so that the process for naming a new music director can begin.
      Enough of this charade already.


  • Krunoslav

    Meanwhile, I thought Amanda Woodbury did a very fine job in her “scheduled cover” performance as Leila tonight- gorgeous voice with lovely sheen and focus, a far smoother line than Damrau produced, and pinpoint trills. Nice blend with Polenzani too. Big ovations for both of them. She must be an excellent Gilda.

    • DonCarloFanatic

      Yes, she sounded lovely and young and silvery. I enjoyed it.

  • redbear

    Someone here said that “taxpayer money” should be respected. There is no public money in the US cultural scene’s budget. That is why these types of dramas exist, something out of some overwrought, cheesy novel. And all the power remains in the hands of the white wealthy classes in this particular are and, at the Met, you could count the important board members on your fingers. Anyone who wants to can look at America’s demographics over the last several decades and understand that “whites” are a smaller and smaller percentage. You can also see that the last two generations have shifted attention from traditional concept of support for cultural institutions to the funding of other projects. Bill Gates’ foundation, for example, gives away, at my last count, 4.5 billion (with a “b”) every single year and you would need a microscope to find anything “cultural.” The other giants are doing the same thing. America has always been hampered with a lack of respect for their cultural institutions. Europe, where the demographics are also changing, still spends substantial public money on their cultural institutions which are part of the understanding of what makes up a country’s soul. This forum is not the place for a discussion of these changes, of course, and it is symptomatic that so little open dialogue exists about these factors. This year, the “white” Oscars are getting prodded. Next year?

    • mirywi

      The Gates Foundation isn’t set up to fund the arts. The money funds evidence-based public health initiatives. That isn’t the same thing as lack of respect for the arts.

  • overstimmelated

    I notice that the opening performances of Boccanegra and Entführung are far from sold out. I found myself wondering if all this newsprint is part of yet another strategy to sell tickets. Except I have no idea how such a thing works. Will people buy tickets thinking this could now be the last chance to hear Levine, or will they stay away thinking he’s spastic and will probably cancel anyway?