Cher Public

This is a job for Captain Obvious

“’We’ve realized that, actually, the status quo is not an option if we want to survive, let alone thrive,’ Anthony Freud, Lyric Opera’s general director, said in an interview last month shortly after the strike ended…” [New York Times]

previously

La Cieca thanks a particularly loyal member of the cher public for pointing out the most recent bit of hard-hitting arts coverage in the Wall Street Journal, as copied and pasted by that hardest of all arts hitters, Terry Teachout. La Cieca says “copied and pasted” because in this piece Teachout manages to blather on for over 800 words without introducing a shred of new reporting or even a sliver of fresh observation.

For those of you who have not been paying any attention at all to what’s been happening at the New York City Opera since, oh, around the time the last woolly mammoth died out in these parts, La Cieca takes the liberty of emulating the Teachout’s reporting technique and pasting here a few choice snippets:

New York’s second-biggest opera company is closing up shop — temporarily. Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater, home of the New York City Opera, will be undergoing major renovations throughout City Opera’s 2008-09 season. The company had originally planned to present a series of concert opera performances in various locations around the city, then decided to trim costs by cutting back. . . .

. . .the repertoire will consist of six 20th-century operas. No Handel, no Mozart, no Puccini — just [list of operas]. All of these works are widely admired, but none has ever been mistaken for a box-office draw.

Gérard Mortier . . . has said that New York needs “a new vision in opera,” and his first season definitely fills the bill. . . .

. . . the State Theater [was] built with dance, not opera, in mind. Among other things, the house was designed in such a way as to deaden the sound of dancing feet — the opposite of what should happen in an opera house, where the goal is to make the singers on stage more audible, not less. . . .

In Europe [Mortier] has long been identified with ultratrendy, government-subsidized updates of familiar operas, most notoriously a “Fledermaus” in which Johann Strauss’s lovable characters snorted cocaine and got beaten up by Nazis. . .

. . the Metropolitan Opera, City Opera’s neighbor at Lincoln Center, has changed its once-stodgy theatrical ways. Under Joe Volpe, the Met offered a steady diet of blandly staged warhorses spiced up with an occasional dash of Eurotrash. But Peter Gelb, his successor, is bringing in stage-savvy directors like John Doyle and Bartlett Sher. . .

. . . . Mr. Mortier may be remembered as the man who turned out the lights at the New York City Opera — for keeps.

As La Cieca’s tipster comments, “How resourceful of him to publish a piece that summarizes the previous 267 articles already written on the subject without a single new insight. So very saving of labor.”