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Subject: Re: "Guillaume Tell" Tonight
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:45:28 -0400

text/plain (32 lines)

Mike Leone wrote:

"One gentleman came up to me after the performance while I was waiting for a friend to 
catch up with me, and he was absolutely scandalized that somebody near him was actually 
booing the production team.  I suggested that he put that out of his head, that the production 
was wonderful, and that the guy was nuts."

I'm not crazy about a lot of the production nonsense the Met shovels onto the stage.  (The 
recent Sonnambula was a particularly egregious example of this.)   But the fact is that some 
people are going to boo if the production doesn't include realistic scenery and fancy period 
costumes.  Not that I object in principle to either of those.  To the contrary, it would be 
refreshing to see a production that was NOT updated to the present day.  I have always 
regarded this common practice as evidence of (1) a lack of imagination and theatrical skill on 
the the part of the director, in that he can't get across the essence of the story without the 
crutch of modern garb; and (2) a lack of respect for the intelligence of the audience because 
it assumes that they can't get to the nub of the work without seeing the characters dressed 
like people they see on the street. 


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