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Subject: Re: Booing at the Met
From: Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 28 Oct 2017 16:14:52 -0400

text/plain (44 lines)

Dear Listers,

My opinion about booing at the opera is best summarized by the masthead of
the Paris daily newspaper “Le Figaro” :

“Sans la liberté de blâmer, il n’est pas d’éloge flatteur.”

This quote from the Beaumarchais play “Le Mariage de Figaro,” which inspired
Mozart’s masterpiece, can be translated, “Without the liberty to censure,
there is no such thing as genuine praise (or “praise is meaningless”).”

For the record, I have never booed a singer or musician at the opera.  I
respect them, their work, their efforts, their years of study and coaching,
too much for that.  I have, however, roundly booed directors and production
teams who give us absurd, in-your-face productions that are totally contrary
to the composer’s intentions and just plain common sense.

The oft-mentioned alternative of “sitting on your hands” is an empty,
meaningless gesture, especially in these times when uneducated,
undiscriminating audiences (filled with corporate types on freebies or
poseurs intent on impressing their friends) who give frenzied standing
ovations to just about anything.  Nobody will notice your hands or what you
are doing with them.

Cheers and all the best,


Alain Letort
Washington, D.C.
Des Ungeheuers Höhle

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