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Subject: My friend's review of the nutcase
From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 22 Apr 2017 09:55:36 -0400

text/plain (81 lines)

We saw Grigolo when he was still a 'baby' performer as Casio in Barcelona. 
His voice, as oft noted, was very fine and he offered an attractive 
appearance (with a very strange and unnecessary disrobing) but his stage 
deportment was bizarrely over the top and distracting.  Even in scenes where 
he was supposed to be background, he found a way to draw attention away from 
the principles.  Afterwards. while we were waiting for friends, he came up 
and offered us photos of himself and then posed, without asking, for snaps 
with members of our party.  To say he was extraverted would be an 

But folks get off on manic today.  Someone once said the days of penguin 
concerts is long over and you have to give the audience more than pure 
singing;  you have to give them a performance.  Grigolo apparently does that 
and it appeals to his groupies, both in the audience and on this list.

That said, it is absolutely unprofessional to have an orchestra that is so 
ill-equipped to provide the background and then cede it a huge chunk of the 
evening that should have been reserved for the singers.  And to be so out of 
time in Vissi d'arte as to bring the singer to grief would indicate little 
if any rehearsal--bad form for both singers and players.

I'm not sure how the concert was advertised but if it was called a classical 
one, then it seems to have missed the mark.  In any case, it seems fairly 
unconscionable to have a concert billed as vocal with such little vocal 
content--I suppose Grigolo thought coming out every now and then without 
doing much would be enough for his fans, and apparently he was right. 
Obviously the fee is the same whether he sang one or ten numbers so .... 
taking the easy way out probably worked well for him!  But there's another 
reason why some singers do that:  besides milking the audience for applause, 
it also eats time so that you can drop an aria or two and still stretch the 
concert.  It's an old trick, not always used but effective when you have a 
lot of vocal fans in the seats.

But here's the kicker:  we have known for so long that folks respond to the 
person and not the talent or ability.  That's why Domingo continues to draw 
folks into the theater when he sings roles he really can't manage or when he 
(shudder!) conducts.  He has fans (as in fanatics) who seem to live to 
breath the same air as he does and would pay top dollar and fill the 
auditorium if he did nothing more than make a cameo.  They discount vocal 
issues or ability or, in the case of Grigolo and Villazon, the insanity of 
their stage deportment, because they don't care about anything else:  they 
have been seduced by the cult of the personality.  In fact, I suspect a lot 
of folks absolutely adored Grigolo's actions and cite them as being those of 
a natural performer.  These folks are not necessarily there to hear singing, 
but to see the performer.

That same bizarre lusting after persona has not only given us an overly-ripe 
Domingo and a self-important Grigolo but also the Kardashians and, dare I 
say it, Trump.  Sad but true.

Sorry for typos, it's early here....

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Handelman
Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2017 12:30 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [Norton AntiSpam]My friend's review of the nutcase

I've gone to concerts and operas most of my life, but Tuesday night was a
first - a concert by two world class artists that was almost completely
devoid of artistic merit or integrity. Anything even resembling taste was
surely accidental. The concert in question was Vittorio Grigolo and Carmen
Giannatassio at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, and where the fault lies is
open to conjecture.


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