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Subject: Re: Booing at the Met
From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 28 Oct 2017 08:23:26 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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This alternative ending of Tosca has taken root in other locations.  I 
remember reading a review about a similar ending in Parma a couple of years 
ago and the Italian audience was having none of it.  They booed, and booed, 
and booed.   The use of a gun has become a cheap way to add an unexpected 
thrill to a common opera and I suppose those who don't really care all that 
much about the libretto or the desires of the composer will find it an 
acceptable alternative.

And then there was the Turandot somewhere else in Italy (Turin?) where at 
the end the ice princess and her hero turned into killing machines, 
joyously killing Timur and the Emperor  to consolidate their reign of 
terror.  I have no idea if the audience booed, was stunned into silence, or 
simply walked out.

My pet peeve about booing is that some people carry their dislike of a 
singer, any singer, into the opera house and then give vent to their 
personal animosity whenever they get a chance.  Singers are hired to do a 
job because the artistic director thinks they can bring something to the 
role.  That assumption can be challenged by something as simple as an 
allergic reaction to a cold to just having an off night.   As long as the 
singer is involved, attempting to bring the character to life and supporting 
his or her fellow singers, they deserve at least acknowledgement of their 
effort.

Finally, I have a stronger reaction (and a negative one, at that) to the 
somewhat unique American need to cast each and every performance as a 
masterpiece and to reward it with ovations and standing.  I've been to many 
operas where the performance was just fine, the singers were just fine, the 
orchestra was just fine, the staging was just fine and at the end of the 
evening you would have thought the night had been one for the ages.  What is 
up with that?  I understand people spend a lot of money for tickets in the 
states and want to believe that what they saw was the best of the best to 
justify the cost but really?

Well, finally 2:  I've seen singers sleepwalk through a role, not supporting 
the other characters and not involved in the the staging and with absolutely 
no charisma.  As long as these folks get the notes out, it seems that is 
enough for bravos galore.  Really?  You may not be able to always engage 
your instrument successfully and I won't boo for that but if you are just 
going through the motions and don't care about your character or the 
audience, why should I applaud?







-----Original Message----- 
From: Jon Goldberg
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2017 5:53 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Booing at the Met

I don't boo. I would rather simply not applaud.

I saw a quite enjoyable performance of Tosca in Boston a few weeks ago, 
which was
marred by a horrible and inane "alternative fact" ending in the staging. Oh, 
I wanted to
boo so badly as Tosca oh-so-conveniently found a gun and shot herself, 
flopping
backwards over Mario's body on the ground in an unforgivable bit of (what I 
saw as) truly
comic slapstick.

But I didn't.

I held my applause until the singers came out for their bows - they deserved 
the applause
wholeheartedly. I likewise applauded the conductor and orchestra for their 
fine work. I sat
on my hands otherwise, and did not stand for the de facto standing o. I left 
with a
figurative bad taste in my mouth - for all the good musicianship in the 
performance, I
truly felt cheated by the cheap ending.

But I didn't boo. I just don't believe in that. I'll boo at a bad play at a 
Sox game, but I
don't boo at theatre or opera. I personally think it's rude and that it 
really DOESN'T do
anything other than get looks from the audience around you. (I tend to think 
most so-
called "innovative" productions *expect* the production staff to be booed 
anyway - it's no
more meaningful than a meaningless standing O.)




On Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:24:24 +0000, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I see nothing wrong with booing a hideous production's designer or 
>director. As for
singers I would usually never boo a singer for having a bad night or not 
beigh really right
for a role. I confess though that I did boo a singer just one time. The 
singer was, of all
people, Corelli. It was not because he was having an off night in Wherter 
but because to
cover his vocal problems he started shouting, which I thought very 
unprofessional for a
great tenor especially because he also resorted to over acting in such a way 
as to upstage
Crespin, who was wonderful as Charlotte.  That was the only time I ever 
booed any singer
and I am happy to say that I had good reason to cheer Corelli, many times.
>
>
>________________________________
>From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> 
>on
behalf of Tom Frey <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Friday, October 27, 2017 4:53 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Booing at the Met
>
>I totally despise the Met current Rigoletto and Traviata. I would not pay 
>to see them.
But I don't boo at a performance. It's not the singers' fault in most cases 
and it seems
very lowbrow and coarse to me. What I would do if I'm very chagrined is 
write to the
company putting on such atrocities and not buy a ticket to see whatever they 
stage. It's
too much of a gamble. I love opera but when it's made into a farce, I stay 
home. I also
hate the Met's Manon and the cliché of all the chorus is clothed in black 
suits , And also
productions with a lot of empty chairs. Why can't companies trust the power 
of the music
when doing opera and not go awry with staging. décor. costumes and whatever 
ruins the
experience for the paying customers?
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Sent: Fri, 27 Oct 2017 12:28:13 -0400 (EDT)
>Subject: Re: Booing at the Met
>
>I have been attending opera at the Met and all over the world since my
>first in 1964.  I have seen many truly crappy productions, bad
>performances, instances where the singes should have stayed home or found a
>different profession.  I have pretty high standards but I have never booed
>- nor would I ever.  I know what goes on to get an opera on stage and what
>singers go through to train and prepare their roles.  Let the booers get
>off their fat asses and do better.  Vulgar.
>
>Donald
>
>On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 8:57 PM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
>wrote:
>
>> recall a rather vociferous booing at the prima of Mary Zimmermans
>> “Sonnambula”
>> production.  I remember quite a few list members taking Margaret 
>> Juntwait,
>> (may she rest
>> in peace) and Will Berger to task for waiting so long (literally less 
>> than
>> about 30 seconds) to
>> acknowledge that not everyone in the house was pleased with what they 
>> saw.
>>
>> The Bondy "Tosca" (which I enjoyed) had some of the loudest booing I can
>> recall hearing
>> from the Met.  I remember at the HD presentation an elderly gentleman
>> saying how much
>> he enjoyed seeing it, but “my goodness gracious, from that audience
>> reaction the other
>> night, you would’ve thought they had set it on Mars.”
>>
>> After several successes in other roles, Alexandra de Shorties, unwisely
>> (but at the urging of
>> the Maestro) took on Konstanze in "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" and
>> while the last
>> strains of "Martern aller Arten" were still echoing, one lone voice began
>> booing, cackling at
>> her rattling the artist to the point friends told me she was visibly
>> shaken and it affected the
>> rest of her performance.
>>
>> The most recent booing incident I can recall was during the prima of the
>> new
>> "Rosenkavalier" this season.  I was listening on Sirius and was STUNNED 
>> by
>> the sound of
>> what seemed to be an angry mob!
>>
>> The most unsettling booing I can recall was at the Met prima of Glass’
>> "Satyagraha."  The
>> long evening held many, like me, enthralled and transported.  As the 
>> voice
>> of Richard Croft
>> and the orchestra faded off from some of the most gently beautiful final
>> bars in all of opera,
>> a group, who’d clearly waited all night for this moment began screaming
>> “BOOOOOO!” at
>> the top of their lungs.  The effect was was jarring and I, and several
>> thousand others who
>> hadn't even begun applauding were all taken by surprise.   It didn't ruin
>> the evening - it
>> couldn't - but it did jolt us all out of the effect Glass and the Company
>> had taken hours to
>> achieve.  Shame on those dolts!
>>
>> p.
>>
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