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Subject: Where were Heppner's and the Met's Better Judgment Last Night?
From: Gene Lavergne <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Gene Lavergne <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 22 Nov 2008 20:13:23 -0600

text/plain (48 lines)

I was listening on Sirius XM.

This was not Heppner's usual crack here and there. He cracked and 
crumbled and could not find his vocal footing through entire phrases and 
sections of the music. Before the first intermission, the voice became 
dark and hoarse and crumbled at every phrase. Then there was a sudden 
change and the voice got brighter and clearer. I was sure they were 
going to say that he had been replaced mid-act.

I was astonished he went on for the rest of the night. I realize it was 
opening night and it would be the second opening night he canceled on. 
(Remember the Tristan last year?) I don't know the forces (monetary and 
career) operating in the decisions there.

But with a cover sitting in the building, and the absolute worst vocal 
catastrophe I have heard in the 20+ years I've been listening to 
broadcasts (in terms of physical breakdown and not poor artistic 
judgment or lack of skill and ability), it took *BOTH* Heppner and the 
Met to to make that mistake. If either had decided to pull the plug and 
use the cover, the other would not have had a choice.

I can't blame either, singularly. It took the combination of two gross 
errors in judgment for last night's Queen of Spades disaster to happen. 
I am not sure which error disappoints me more.

But today's HD of Damnation de Faust surely made up for it!


Emily Webster wrote:
> As expected, the ill informed opinions are from the posters who neither saw
> last night's performance nor heard the broadcast. 
> His cover happened to be sitting in the cafeteria, as I understand, ready to
> go on. Heppner didn't find necessary ...

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