Cher Public

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Dead European white males once again in jeopardy

Our old friend Heather Mac Donald (not pictured) is back, ostensibly to mourn the loss of “Petrarchan intimacy with the past” in the study of the humanities, but, reliably enough, she can’t help taking a swipe at Regietheater while she’s at it. So naturally Our Own JJ is ready with the counterpoint over at Rough and Regie.

In Ring und Reih’ die Hall’ erfüllen die Helden

Our Own JJ has been thinking about Bayreuth some more, this time in the pages of Musical America.

The standoff in Düsseldorf

“It may have been Robert A. Heinlein or Napoleon Bonaparte who first crafted that variation on Occam’s Razor ‘Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.’ But whoever said it, in whatever century and in whatever language, it certainly seems to apply to the fiasco that is the Deutsche Oper am Rhein’s Tannhäuser.” Our Own JJ (not pictured) is pondering again over at Rough and Regie.


Un soggetto dell’epoca

“With one of my favorite opera productions returning to the Met tonight, I’ve been considering lately what makes Willy Decker‘s Traviata so fine, so satisfying, and so worth a return visit.” [Musical America]

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Blood simple

“One of the things I’m gradually learning as I’m coming up my the 20th anniversary of writing about opera for publication is that you have to be wary about making Pronouncements.”

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Queens of song

Our own JJ ponders the Met’s new production of Maria Stuarda (not pictured) for Musical America.

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Fight club

“I literally wanted to punch Sher in the face.”

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“Since no opera company in the U.S. has quite got up the courage to present a Herheim production, this webcast offers us a chance to sample this director’s unique style of Regie.”

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A distinct odor

“’I’ve almost come to the conclusion that this Mr. Hitler isn’t a Christian,’ muses merry murderess Abby Brewster early in the first act of Arsenic and Old Lace, and to tell the truth I’m beginning to think I’m almost as far behind the curve as she was. Recent new productions at the Met suggest strongly that Peter Gelb either doesn’t quite know what he’s doing or else, if he does know, has some wildly inappropriate ideas about what music drama is supposed to be.” Our own JJ (not pictured) muses on “Peter’s Principles” at Musical America.

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I glam what I am

“Since Zeffirelli took his official leave from the Met in 2008, the company has experienced—some would say suffered—a backlash against glamour, or at least against those qualities that, thanks in part to Zeffirelli, are wrongly perceived as the synonyms of glamour: triviality and meretriciousness.” [Rough and Regie] (Photo: Ken Howard)

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