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Any opera fans in the house?

Addison D. Profile Photo
Addison D.
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/12
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/21/12 at 11:33pm
Peter Gelb has forbidden Opera News from publishing reviews of the Metropolitan's productions.

That's one way to respond to criticism, I suppose...

NYT Article
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After Eight
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joined:6/5/09
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 05:12am
The problem is not the messenger, but the product. You can silence the messenger, but the public recognizes travesties when it sees them. That's what the Met is serving up, and that's what Gelb should be fixing.
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D2
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joined:12/3/06
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 07:32am
I agree with A8 -- as I once remarked after a grueling 4 hours of FAUST: "Doesn't anyone see these things before they foist them onto an unsuspecting public?" And I got an AMEN! from two of the ushers.

Mr. Gelb should really be looking at his own housekeeping before trying to censor what's being said. Is he Republican, per chance?
Cheyenne Jackson tickled me. AFTER ordering SoMMS a drink but NOT tickling him, and hanging out with Girly in his dressing room (where he DIDN'T tickle her) but BEFORE we got married. To others. And then he tweeted Boobs. He also tweeted he's good friends with some chick on "The Voice" who just happens to be good friends with Tink's ex. And I'm still married. Oh, and this just in: "Pettiness, spite, malice ....Such ugly emotions... So sad." - After Eight, talking about MEEEEEEEE!!! I'm so honored! :-)
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PalJoey
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joined:3/11/04
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 08:03am
I didn't like the Faust, but hasn't he had as many hits as he's had misses?

Bartlett Sher's Barber of Seville
Anthony Minghella's Madam Butterfly
Patrice Chéreau’s From the House of the Dead
Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch's Satyaghaha

And the line-ups of singers have been world-class.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
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joined:7/15/06
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 08:14am
Well, at least two of the productions you mention (SATYAGRAHA and HOUSE OF THE DEAD) originated elsewhere, so if he was good at anything, in those cases, it was finding pre-existing hits and bringing them to the Met. Most of the original productions under his regime have been duds.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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D2
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joined:12/3/06
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 08:23am
Yes he has, PJ, but the productions you've mentioned are from several years ago; lately there seems to be one dud after another. (Although I did love THE ENCHANTED ISLAND.)

This isn't isolated to Gelb alone; his predecessors had spotty track records as well. What I take issue with is his trying to censor what get's written about The Met -- I understand that Opera News is a publication of the Met Opera Guild, but nevertheless his stance makes him, and the organization, seem petty and thin-skinned.
Cheyenne Jackson tickled me. AFTER ordering SoMMS a drink but NOT tickling him, and hanging out with Girly in his dressing room (where he DIDN'T tickle her) but BEFORE we got married. To others. And then he tweeted Boobs. He also tweeted he's good friends with some chick on "The Voice" who just happens to be good friends with Tink's ex. And I'm still married. Oh, and this just in: "Pettiness, spite, malice ....Such ugly emotions... So sad." - After Eight, talking about MEEEEEEEE!!! I'm so honored! :-)
Addison D. Profile Photo
Addison D.
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joined:5/17/12
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 08:24am
I've got no problem--well: I've got less of a problem--with bad productions, especially if they are a symptom of a house's taking artistic chances and trying to explore the medium.

I've got huge problems with an Arts Organization that stifles criticism--it's so fundamental to the life of a work of Art.

The 'Opera News' reviews referenced in the article were strongly-worded and very critical, but they represented an informed and passionate point of view. That is precisely the sort of feedback that--in my opinion--a serious artist needs (and wants) to hear.
You think, what do you want? You think, make a decision...
PalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
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joined:3/11/04
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 09:41am
Most opera criticism is just bitchery anyway.

Those Opera News reviews will find a home on parterrebox.com.

Whether he originates the productions or brings them in, between the great singers, the fresh productions and the HD broadcasts, he's done more good than he's done harm.

I don't mind him being a little controlling. Isn't that part of being an opera impresario?

yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Updated On: 5/22/12 at 09:41 AM
Addison D. Profile Photo
Addison D.
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joined:5/17/12
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 09:51am
If the content of the reviews is just 'bitchery', it should pose no threat to an august house like the Met.

If the content is valid, it might be valuable if attended to.

The notion that valid criticism is going to dampen the Met's audience presumes that the audience is too timid or too intellectually lazy to take some chances in their opera-going. This may be a valid concern, but then Gelb should just keep putting up Zeffirelli's Traviata and not waste the money on Willy Decker. It seems like he wants to guarantee that his choices will be universally judged to be triumphs. Very Kim Jong Il.

You think, what do you want? You think, make a decision...
Updated On: 5/22/12 at 09:51 AM
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frogs_fan85
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joined:12/3/05
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 11:12am
Well, at least two of the productions you mention (SATYAGRAHA and HOUSE OF THE DEAD) originated elsewhere, so if he was good at anything, in those cases, it was finding pre-existing hits and bringing them to the Met. Most of the original productions under his regime have been duds.

He's the Todd Haimes of Opera.
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frogs_fan85
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Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 04:33pm
This decision has already been reversed. Expect a press release shortly.
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Reginald Tresilian
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joined:6/12/08
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 04:35pm
Addison D. Profile Photo
Addison D.
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joined:5/17/12
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/22/12 at 05:13pm

Well. OK, then.

What's the next Injustice we can fight?
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After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 07:23am
"What's the next Injustice we can fight?"

What they've done to Donizetti, Verdi, Gounod, Massenet, Offenbach, Berlioz, Humperdinck.......?

But I think that battle has been lost for good.
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
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joined:5/26/05
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 09:06am
After Eight- I tend to agree with you that I've found the productions at the Met of late to be lacking- but do you blame Gelb/the productions or the singers? Other than Netrebko and Fleming (when cast correctly) I find the females to be very lacking. The men aren't usually offensively bad, but most of the tenors are pretty bland, with Florez the exception.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
After Eight
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joined:6/5/09
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 10:19am
Whizzer,

I don't think the fault lies with the singers. Many are excellent, if not all that exciting. Maybe they're not as unique as those of the past, but hey, what is?

It's definitely the productions. Everything is so distorted to the point of absurdity. It's a wonder that the singers can do as well as they can under the cirumstances. They are truly up against it.

It's a shame. But then again, what isn't?
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AC126748
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joined:7/15/06
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 10:34am
I could do without some of Gelb's "favorites"--like that awful Russian woman who got the new productions of DON CARLOS and LA TRAVIATA. Or Dessay in TRAVIATA--a decision made to sell tickets with no regard for the score.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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PalJoey
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joined:3/11/04
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 11:06am
Wait--the females are lacking? Like these?

Natalie Dessay
Deborah Voight
Stephanie Blythe
Susan Graham
Diana Damrau...


And these men are bland?

Lawrence Brownlee
Matthew Polenzani
Piotr Beczala
Joseph Calleja
Jay Hunter Morris
Jonas Kaufmann?!?!?
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Addison D. Profile Photo
Addison D.
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joined:5/17/12
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 11:31am

I must add my (utterly tuneless) voice in defense of Natalie Dessay. And what of Elina Garanca and the fabulous Joyce DiDonato?


Non-bland men would have to include--in addition to the amazing Jonas Kaufmann--the Peruvian Juan Diego Florez, Rene Pape and Simon Keenlyside--who's head-shot I would totally have in my locker if I still had a locker...
You think, what do you want? You think, make a decision...
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Borstalboy
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joined:2/9/04
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 11:49am
I still want to see ANNA NICOLE.
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
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Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 01:33pm
I think Dessay is the worst offender at the Met right now. I've seen her three times, hoping I'd caught her on an off night given her fame, but alas I'm just not a fan. Her voice is thin and she has no excitement in the coloratura passages. She barely even attempts an thrilling jumps or improv notes. She's been heralded as the new Sutherland/Sills/Gruberova, but she doesn't even near their greatness.

Diana Damrau is pleasant (I saw her Fille du Regiment), and definitely has a warmer presence than Dessay, but really doesn't wow at all during any of the exciting passages- especially the music lesson. For an AMAZING lesson check out Sills here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awHZJ8AvBa4 (go to about 5:30 if you don't want to hear the whole thing).

PJ- I will give you that Graham and Voight are good, and yes Addison I forgot about DiDonato.

I have yet to see Jonas Kaufmann, but since both of you rave I'll check him out next season.

I know a lot of this is personal preference, but I find most of the singers to be very competent, but rarely excite.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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frogs_fan85
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joined:12/3/05
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 02:34pm
There is definitely a solid roster of singers right now, but none of them except for Netrebko actually sells tickets based on their name alone.
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AC126748
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Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 02:45pm
I like Dessay. In certain roles. Violetta is definitely not one of them. And I don't find her "acting," on which she's so roundly touted, to be anything more than run-of-the-mill.

"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Updated On: 5/23/12 at 02:45 PM
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PalJoey
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joined:3/11/04
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 03:15pm
Jonas Kaufman



He can sing too.

http://youtu.be/AcYmsXCjF0k
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
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AEA AGMA SM
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joined:8/13/09
Any opera fans in the house?
Posted: 5/23/12 at 06:43pm


And let's not forget Nathan Gunn, who finally got to sing the title role in Billy Budd this season.

(the photo is from the San Franciso Opera production a few years ago, but I'm sure there are similar moments in the Met staging)
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?