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Subject: Re: ROH WALKUERE last night
From: Don Turner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 29 Mar 2005 12:39:49 EST

text/plain (47 lines)

I second Mike Richter's wise words.

So many opera fans interpret every act of an opera management as though it
were a Borgia plot or a personal assault against a specific artist.  This is
almost always unfair except, perhaps, in some appropriately poison-filled Italian
backstages (and occasionally in Vienna) where capital P Politics and opera
house politics are freely commingled. In most theaters, however, the people who
run the show really want to put on the best show.  And there are MANY reasons
why a show doesn't go on, most of them mundane or legal or merely a matte of

I completely believe the ROH deserves the benefit of our doubts in this case
for wanting to broadcast the finest performance possible. And believe it would
have made no sense to broadcast a live performance with an understudy when
the acknowledged main strength of the production, Terfel, was indisposed, then
release a different performance on DVD so as to have consistent casting
throughout a DVD Ring. Opera fans have had decades to see and hear Mr. Hale's Wotan
on DVD and CD and interest in him is now quite limited, nor would it have fully
represented what the opera house was trying to put forth with its new

To clarify why the ROH did not broadcast the earlier performance of Walkure
with Terfel in lieu of the live relay, most companies tape more than one
performance in order to have a trial run-through of camera blocking and to have
back-up material in case of a problem at the final taping.  That tape (not film)
may or may not be polished enough to present, especially if there was no
expectation of immediate broadcast. Lighting levels may need to be adjusted or
blocking modified before a final taping in order to create the finest possible
broadcast.  I believe the BBC, who have great experience in telecasts from the
ROH, would not have taken this step if there had been another ready and
acceptable option.

MY big question regarding the telecast is why they did not wait until June to
telecast Walkure when it will have both Meier and Domingo added to the cast,
but I'm sure they had their reasons and doubt many of them were evil.  I only
wish we, in the US, had anyone who was willing to broadcast opera, live or
delayed, on television on a regular basis.

Wishing I could hear Terfel's Wotan,

Don Turner

Don Turner

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