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Subject: Re: Where was Peter Gelb last night?
From: Dominic A <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Dominic A <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 23 Nov 2008 12:46:24 -0500
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That's not a sufficient analogy for what occurred on Friday night.  If a high-
wire swalker stumbles even once, then they fall to imminent demise AND there 
is no way to correct the mistake.  That's it---it's over.  In the case of a 
performance, if a singer "stumbles," then okay, that's fine---they have more 
than enough opportunities to make up for it.  If they stumble the very next 
phrase, okay, fine, give them another shot.  Next one, too?  Hmm... maybe 
they just need a break.  The one after that?  and after that?  Time for the 
cover.  You see, with opera, you can take someone out who is doing poorly 
and put in the cover.  With a tight-walker, you can't do that.  It's not about 
taking chances--Heppner did that and realized that he made a mistake.  At 
that point, the difference is that the singer can put an end to the 
consequences of the mistake by stepping out, whereas the high-wire artists 
cannot.  One mistake and that's it.  A better analogy would be to compare a 
singer consistently ruining his phrases to a high-wire walker who would get on 
the wire, fall off, get on again, fall off, get on again, fall off, get on again, fall 
off.  If you had paid to see said artist, would you really say "well, at least he's 
trying!"  No, you would say "I paid to see a high-wire artist, and if they have 
another one standing right behind him, why don't they give him a shot?"  For 
Heppner to take a "chance" on singing the role is one thing, but to 
continually "take a chance" when nearly every single phrase that came forth 
from his mouth was ruined is no longer ambitious.  The only chance he was 
taking at that point was that he would NOT crack.  And to pay the prices that 
people do at the Met and to know that a cover is standing by, that's simply 
not good enough.

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