Cher Public

Vicious hack defiles corpse

Venomous fishwife Norman Lebrecht has gleefully seized upon the death of beloved diva Montserrat Caballé to use her scarcely-cold cadaver as a club to attack (who else) his life-long nemesis Peter Gelb

At the risk of breaking what should be a quiet period of mourning for Mme. Caballé, may I just say that Lebrecht is a pandering hack for dishonoring the memory of a great artist this way. Had he bothered to do even cursory research, he would have realized that the Metropolitan Opera has its own formal method of marking the death of a member of the Met family, i.e., the dedication of a performance to their memory.

This is what the company did on September 21, 2015 to mark the death of Jon Vickers, on September 24, 2014 for Carlo Bergonzi and on December 6, 2013 for Regina Resnik. Similarly, in recent years performances were dedicated to Robert Tuggle, Agnes VarisMargaret Juntwait and a number of others known for their service to the Met.

In none of these cases did the Met call for a “moment of silence” and in no cases were HD telecasts interrupted to note their passing.

Now, do you see the problem with making a special case out of the death of Caballé? Given the long and utterly subjective memories of opera fans, how long do you think it would take before people started howling “But Bergonzi didn’t get a moment of silence! But you didn’t interrupt the HD for Resnik! Robert Tuggle gave far more to this company than Caballé ever did, but this is just another example of Gelb’s wanting to erase the history of the company!”

And heaven help us the next time another beloved artists departs this world: here’s Peter Gelb playing favorites!

Meanwhile, Norman Lebrecht should go fuck himself.