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Subject: Re: Metropolitan Opera Cast Change Advisory - Tosca (2017-18)
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 4 Mar 2017 13:36:06 -0500

text/plain (57 lines)

Well, the reviews from his Barbican residency--including the Walkure performance--were terrific. 

Kaufmann has had a string of health issues the last few years, some of which forced him to remain silent for extended periods; a sense of decency suggests that we should grant him some slack. It is of course regrettable that these singers are imperfect humans and lack the reliability of automata--or recordings. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of robert levine
Sent: Saturday, March 4, 2017 1:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Metropolitan Opera Cast Change Advisory - Tosca (2017-18)

Just spoke to a pal in London who was involved with a Walkure act one a month ago at the Barbican - apprently Kaufmann seemed distracted throughout and had previously been late to reheasals and barely sang or interacted with the other two (Halverson and Mattila).

On Sat, Mar 4, 2017 at 12:57 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Some comments.
> Back in the fifties and until the eighties, most singers did not know, 
> and audiences absolutely did not know (with rare exceptions) who would 
> be singing what, when. We bought subscriptions based only on rep or a 
> desire to keep our seats. There was a time when a subscription was a 
> thing of some value for its sake.
> We knew casts for new productions, and that was it! The Callas return 
> in 65 was the exception that proves the rule. It has been, during the 
> last quarter century, the rule that casting is known at the time 
> subscriptions are sold. Singers are locked into contracts as long as 
> five years into the future. Some are voiceless by the time they get 
> around to singing this stuff.
> But, that is the norm. I loved the old days, when, you would go to the 
> Met on Monday morning and find out for the first time who would be 
> singing during the following week. Even singers often didn't know 
> until those pieces of paper appeared in the Met lobby.
> It's different now, but I think it is not fair to be so hard on 
> singers who must commit so far in advance and then find, for any 
> number of valid reasons, that circumstances have forced them to 
> withdraw. Give them a break. Five years is a long time. Even one is a 
> lot longer than was the case 50 years ago. We lived it; we loved it, 
> and there were a lot more bodies in seats then, than there are today.
> Bob

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