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Subject: Re: Met Titles | Are they worth writing to Peter Gelb about ?
From: "Mitchell, Katalin" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mitchell, Katalin
Date:Mon, 21 Nov 2016 18:59:15 +0000

text/plain (133 lines)

Oh my Goodness, this is MY pet peeve… I even wrote to one of the MET 
dramaturgs who does some of the titles asking why French is left out… got 
no reply….  Yes, please ask!!!! 
On 11/21/16, 1:24 PM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf of 
Mike Hetsko" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]> 
>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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