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Subject: Re: Cultural controversy swirls around Seattle Opera’s ‘Madame Butter fly’
From: Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 3 Aug 2017 21:28:24 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
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I alternate between laughing and shuddering at this latest manifestation of
the "identity politics" / "search for victimhood" disease - a self-serving
hoax planted by politicians that now seems to be in full fester, and which
so many arts "leaders" are cowering under.

But Jay Nordlinger said it so much better:

Several weeks ago, a friend sent me an article from the website of Opera
Philadelphia. Its headline was “Turandot: Time to call it quits on
Orientalist opera?” The writer’s answer was yes. Turandot and similar works
were guilty of “outdated gender roles,” “problematic racial stereotypes,”
and all the rest of it. The article sent a shiver down my spine. It was —
I’m going to reach for this overused and abused word — Orwellian. The cops
are on the beat, and they are getting stronger. You can hear the tramp of
their boots outside the door. I’ll say again: Certain people will kill art,
and civilization along with it, if we let them.

Read more at:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442580/killing-aida-fatal-clash-art-identity-politics



On Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 5:17 PM Kiwi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Well, yes.  Wonkle anyone?  It's not just having an Indian or two, it's the
> stereotyping of the 'injun,' especially the 'red' Indian Billy Jackrabbit.
> Then we can spare a moment for the minstrel, Jake Wallace, often shown in
> blackface  (although in Vienna they simply had his voice coming over a
> radio
> and he never appears).  These are major blunders based on modern
> sensibilities (though I maintain these missteps are relatively easy to
> correct in stage direction).
>
> But I think it may be more basic than that:  it is probably true that we
> can
> find some reason for outrage if we look closely at many operas from great
> and lesser composers.  We are simply in a period of time when small things
> become large and outrage becomes art.  A lot of the protests are, in fact,
> more about the individual who feels the grievance than the actual substance
> of the 'plaint.  It was only a few weeks ago, for example, that some one
> took umbrage because a Caucasian woman attending Butterfly with fashion
> chopsticks in her hair became a true crime against Asians.  Part of it, to
> bring just a touch of politics into it, is the nationalist movement where
> we
> are splitting apart based on heritage rather than coming together as a
> single nation.  Unless things change, such extreme opinions are likely to
> become more frequent rather than less.
>
> It is the time we live in.  Hopefully, our visit here will be short and
> we'll move on to a more unifying and accepting time.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Les Mitnick
> Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2017 1:51 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Cultural controversy swirls around Seattle Opera’s ‘Madame
> Butterfly’
>
> >
> >     Question: Do I, as an American, get to have my own hissy fit over
> > Puccini's "cultural
> >     appropriation" of the American West in "Fanciulla del West?"
> > (Actually, common sense and
> >     a reluctance to embarrass myself would keep me from having such a
> > hissy fit, but I pose
> >     the question anyway.)
> >
> >     When I hear someone whining about "cultural appropriation,"
> > particularly in connection with
> >     art, I want to tell the whiner to shove it up their grievance-ridden
> > backside and stop
> >     demanding that everyone else cater to their delicate sensibilities.
> > These are people with too
> >     much time on their hands and not enough of importance on their minds.
> > And the self-
> >     abasing, guilt-ridden virtue signaling from opera managements like
> > Seattle's is no less
> >     irritating.
> >
>
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