nothing like a critic with opinions of his own, tempered by a lifetime
of attendance in the opera house, to bring out the private demons of his
readers, some of whom are purported to read and understand the english
we even have had the dubious privilege of a playwright (very)
manque, seizing upon a "parsifal" review to parade his own bitter
frustrations by attacking his betters. we have had domingo admirers
believing their hero demeaned. we have had domingo detractors playing
playground "gotcha" games over his age, his repertoire, his peripatetic
activity, and their tiresome screeds on his vocal ability. we have
paranoia displayed over a met production well into its second decade. we
have wagnerians fighting battles now in their second century. we have
performers convinced that all critics, regardless of opinions expressed,
are villains. we have traditionalists convinced that the eurotrashists
are casting their sacred cows into the fiery furnace, while the
conceptualists jeer at the retrograde views of brahminism in opera. and
we have the language challenged readers who detect an elitist sneer in
the critic's every syllable.
ah, martin bernheimer, remember when we only had you and gutenberg to
curse? now we have mr. cyber and that space between his ears that even
an errant keyboard can't fill. well, you are certainly a naughty fellow.
what is so rare as a spring day without a barrel of quixotes tilting at
windmills? no matter your literary skills, you couldn't possibly have
invented the cast of characters who have sprung from the weeds this
balmy april day. i hope they don't forget to thank you.