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Subject: Re: Met Titles | Are they worth writing to Peter Gelb about ?
From: Mike Hetsko <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mike Hetsko <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:24:32 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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I say, write. You could pretty much copy and paste the first two paragraphs of your post here. 
Btw, the Deutsche Bank underwrites (at least I think they still do)  the"Titles" which explains the German. 

~Mike Hetsko
 
(-spell check by IPhone-)


> On Nov 21, 2016, at 12:55 PM, Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Dear Listers,
> 
> Something has been bugging me for a while, and I’d like to sound you out as to whether 
> you think it would be worth my while writing to Peter Gelb about it.
> 
> Recently I attended a performance of “Guillaume Tell” at the Met, and was very much 
> annoyed that there were no titles in French.  Only English, German, and Spanish, a 
> language that has never been associated with opera and which one seldom hears spoken 
> at the Met during intermissions.  French and Italian titles seem to be available only when 
> the opera being performed is in one of those two languages, but German and Spanish are 
> always available.  Even though my native language is French and I am still to this day 
> perfectly bilingual, I had never heard “Guillaume Tell” before, and while a few of the 
> singers had excellent French and were understandable, the French of some of the others 
> was not so excellent and I couldn’t understand them.  I would have appreciated having 
> titles in French.
> 
> When I saw “Manon” at the Met a couple of years ago, and “Les Pêcheurs de Perles” 
> earlier this year, French-language titles were available.  (Not that I needed them, 
> knowing both of those operas by heart.)  So why were they not available for “Guillaume 
> Tell,” a work far less familiar to the vast majority of operagoers than the other two ?
> 
> At the first intermission I complained to the House Manager, a charming man who 
> seemed genuinely startled and puzzled to hear that there were no titles in French.  He 
> had assumed all along that French titles were available, as they were for Manon and PdP, 
> so the information I conveyed was news to him.  He suggested that I write to Peter Gelb 
> and complain, and wrote Gelb’s mailing address on the back of his business card, which I 
> still have.  I said that if I did so my letter would probably be thrown into the proverbial 
> File 13 by some minion in Gelb’s office, and he replied that I shouldn’t think that at all, 
> that Gelb reads all letters to subscribers.  In addition, he said, as part of his job as House 
> Manager, he personally hands to Gelb a written performance report or log after each 
> performance, and he would be sure to mention my complaint in his performance report.
> 
> So what do you all think ?  Should I write to Gelb or spare myself the waste of time and 
> effort ?
> 
> Just for the record, Lynne Price and I adored the opera, exquisite music and singing, the 
> orchestra and chorus were in superb form, but we HATED the production for its sheer “in-
> your-face” ugliness and absurdity.  As for that leather S&M “ballet,” I thought there were 
> special clubs for people who are into that sort of thing.
> 
> Thanks and all the best,
> 
> Alain
> 
> Alain Letort
> Washington, D.C.
> The Belly of the Beast
> 
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