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Subject: Re: Domingo as General?
From: Brian Newhouse <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Wed, 20 Oct 2004 18:11:31 -0400

text/plain (43 lines)

"G. Paul Padillo" wrote:

> [snip with apologies to save screen space]
> Now, back to Domingo.  The man is one of the sharpest guys in the
> entertainment industry, but I don't think this is the job for him.  Not
> that he isn't capable, I just ? as do others ? have a hard time believing
> he'd be willing to forgo the parts of work he enjoys (singing, coaching,
> conducting, co-directing, fundraising) to take on endless days of paper
> work, contract negotiations, handling strikes and potential strikes, and
> all of the rest of the unglamorous day-to-day struggles that seem part and
> parcel of this job at the world's busiest opera company.

Well, presumably he's been doing some of that unglamorous stuff already in
Washington & Los Angeles; so I wouldn't put it past him.  And I imagine that his
connections and his very real people skills would work as well for him when
negotiating with unions as they would when raising funds among management
types--the man strikes me more and more as a regular CEO of opera.  (Even when
singing, he added mischievously)  So he could make a perfectly good general

My worries, however, are about the artistic side of things.  Sure, Domingo has
sung a vast amount of music; but that's not the same thing as having a vision of
what to do with all of it.  My guess, judging from Domingo's own tastes and
practices, would be that a pure Domingo regime would be pretty much Business As
Usual--the Met staying at a respectable distance behind trends in repertory
revival & production with the exception of the odd verismo revival, with casting
more reliable than risk-taking or inspired, and marketing aimed more at keeping
the old audience than at developing a new one.  It's arguable that the Met needs
something a bit less stodgy these days to keep going (see, for instance, ) What a Domingo regime needs--especially
as Levine devotes more and more of his time to his new job in Boston--is a
really crackerjack replacement for Levine who could provide the Met with the
artistic direction it needs while Domingo manages the day-to-day business.

Brian Newhouse

not to be confused with the radio announcer of the same name

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