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Subject: Re: Booing at the Met
From: Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 28 Oct 2017 13:21:18 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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"DeshortiesCanadian soprano Alexandra Deshorties (photo left) was loudly 
and repeatedly booed during her opening night as Konstanze in 
Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail on 
Jan. 20, 2003.

 The booing - from a male audience member seated in the middle of the 
orchestra section - erupted after Deshorties’s arias "Ach, ich liebte" 
and “Martern aller Arten.” Conductor James Levine - rumored to be her 
protector - was visibly angry. The malcontent didn’t get a chance to boo 
more, since Metropolitan Opera security guards threw him out during the 
intermission.[Check out more details on Parterre.com].

 Whether Deshorties deserved to be booed or not, her singing was 
technically insecure and frequently off-pitch. Rumors from dress rehearsals 
last week suggested that Deshorties was not in good voice.

 Deshorties (correctly pronounced "Days Ortee") is a Montrealer who 
attended the Manhattan School of Music and was a winner of the 1997 
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the George London 
Foundation award. Since then she has appeared at prestigious venues such 
as the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the Metropolitan Opera. Her rise has 
been rapid. Of her November 2000 George London Foundation Recital I 
wrote: “Canadian soprano Alexandra Deshorties is still at the fledgling 
stage of her career. She is tall and beautiful, with a fine voice. Her 
instrument is strident at times, with an edge to the top notes; her loud 
singing is better than her soft singing, and she is probably being groomed 
for big opera houses, where she will undoubtedly mature and thrive.” [full 
review here].

 If the booing was unpleasant, the Metropolitan Opera’s very public ejection 
of the booer was even more deplorable. To paraphrase a famous 
libertarian, though I may disagree with booers, I defend their right to boo. 
North America audiences are famously generous, almost never booing, but 
in Europe it is a common and vital part of the performance process. Booing 
may seem cruel, but it is often the only way that paying customers can 
communicate to the management their dissatisfaction with a performer or 
a production. Informed dissent and loyal opposition have an honorable 
history. Stravinsky's avant-garde work Le Sacre de Printemps caused a riot 
at its 1913 Paris premiere, but classical music and Stravinsky survived and 
prospered. But to judge from the Met’s strongarm tactics on Jan. 20, only 
smiling faces are welcome. To some observers, this muscular stifling of 
audience opinion smacks of censorship and totalitarianism.But legally, the 
Met has the right to throw anyone out anytime for no reason whatsoever. 
Read the fine print on your ticket."

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