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Subject: Re: Where was Peter Gelb last night?
From: Kenneth Wolman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kenneth Wolman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Nov 2008 10:54:15 -0500

text/plain (45 lines)

Ah, the good old daze again! <sing> *Vituperio! vituperio!*

Tell me: have you ever heard of any singer with such ingrained cynicism that
he doesn't care if he stinks? Do you think a singer goes out on stage intent
on giving anything but his best? I am sure Ben Heppner endured moments of
horror onstage on Friday that few of us have ever felt in any area of our
lives. We have all dreamed of going into the final exam unprepared, right?

I lay this one at Gelb's feet. If there was a cover in the building, why was
he not in costume and makeup when it became clear that Heppner was in
trouble? Gelb is intent on destroying the company in the name of a buck.
Heppner might sell seats. Tenor X won't. So the GM will help destroy the
remains of a once-great tenor's voice with HIS cynical acts of laying down
for an audience he regards as moronic.

Yet it is not Mr. Gelb but Mr. Heppner who is accused of being meretricious
and out only for his fee. How sick is that? I don't mean Heppner, I mean the
accusation that Heppner is a musical prostitute. He's not. He's a deeply
damaged singer whose voice was likely destroyed by the Tristan series in
1999, where Levine pushed the orchestra beyond all measure; and his
attempted vocal rebuild was not assisted by letting him into his hideous
forays into Otello.

There are also stories of medical issues. I don't know what they are.

I once walked out on Dorothy Kirsten, who had no business being onstage when
I experienced her.  Why didn't you just get out on Friday night?  Why didn't
you write to/call the management? Why don't you put the blame where it truly
resides instead of sitting on a tree like a damned vulture waiting for a
singer to die?

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