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Subject: Re: Mignon (was Carreras and his rep)
From: Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 27 Jan 2017 09:42:53 -0500
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Many will have already heard Chabrier's famous putdown: "Il y a deux espèces de 
musique : la bonne et la mauvaise. Et puis, il y a la musique d'Ambroise Thomas" 
(There are two types of music: the good and the bad. And then, there's the music 
of Ambroise Thomas). 
Mignon was produced, with success (Koch in the title role) at the Opera-Comique 
(where it had its debut) in 2010 and the production was repeated in Geneva in 
2012. Chabrier's opera, Gwendoline, was in the season 82-83 at the San Diego 
Opera when the company was healthy under Tito Capobianco and that same 
season also had Saint-Saens' Henry VIII. Both were a pleasure to hear and, for 
me, always examples of the 95% of the repertory that is ignored to make space 
for another Traviata.
This "playing safe" policy is not healthy for any arts group and is particularly 
prevalent in the opera world. I have been lucky to be in Paris during a time when 
the French have rediscovered their vast musical riches. Saint-Saens' Le Timbre 
d'argent will be seen in June with Alcione (Marais) in April. Fantasio (Offenbach) is 
opening their season in two weeks. This new interest has also seen French operas 
outside the standard rep being picked up by opera companies throughout Europe. 

Frank Cadenhead

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