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Subject: Re: how do I stomach opera today?
From: Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 7 Apr 2009 22:50:18 EDT

text/plain (42 lines)

Does our enjoyment of live performances decrease as we get older  because we 
measure the years that remain to us and resent  attending to the  
unremarkable? Is it because contemporary performers are - on the whole - so  inferior to 
their predecessors?* Or is it because after decades of listening to  opera we 
tend to lose our ability to appreciate the common-place? Or lack  patience with 
the vapid but technically skilled automatons that the  conservatories 

The bravos that ring out for ordinary singers at the Met are probably  coming 
from those whose critical faculties are not as developed as many  of ours - 
and that's not a boast, it is just a factor that comes with  age. It could be 
why some of the joy seeps out of life over  time.

*Listen to Met performances of just about any decade, not just the  
well-circulated famous performances, but the others. You'll find some pretty  awful and 
some just plain dull singing. I won't name names of commonplace  performers 
whose names evoke "glorious" memories, for once this is not  about starting a 
fight. But here is one case in point involving exceptional  singers: listen to 
the Met's Martha (1960's) with DeLosAngeles, Tucker, Tozzi (I  think), three 
of my favorites - it looks great on paper - but it's a dud, and it  is not due 
only to the pathetic English text, there is just no spark..

**************Feeling the pinch at the grocery store?  Make dinner for $10 or 
less. (

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