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Subject: Re: Die Walküre Chicago, Civic Opera House 1 November 2017
From: Russ Geschke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Russ Geschke <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 19 Dec 2017 01:56:45 -0600
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (106 lines)


This is slightly late (life got in the way) but I still want to sent it, to 
second what
you wrote in your email.

Everything you write below is true (meaning I agree with it).  Some of the
late great Claudia Cassidy's reviews were unnecessarily harsh, but I've read
that behind all her reviews was the determination that nothing second-rate
that was imported into Chicago would pass unnoticed (and undenounced).
(Reportedly, musical politics in Chicago did her in, in the late 1960s.)  I
thought that the criticism of Thomas Willis and Wynne Delacoma was informed
and worth reading.  Von Rhein is another story, a burned out ignoramus who
never could write.  A Second City mindset that blocks intelligent and
informed comment and criticism only fosters the kind of artistic mediocrity
we have today.  I completely gave up on Lyric Opera several years ago (it
was the 2011 Lohengrin that did it).  The degradation of the once-great
Ravinia Festival is painful to witness.  Certain holdouts and enclaves
aside, Chicago continues to demonstrate that it is not a city that is truly
serious about the arts.  Your story about the telephone call from Lyric
offering steeply discounted seats is shocking, testimony to how that company
has been artistically mismanaged.  I don't care what negative replies I may
get to this.  The contrast between what opera in Chicago was from 1910 to
1932 (of which there is ample recorded evidence) and again under Carol Fox
in the 1950s and 60s is glaring.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Kubiak" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:50 AM
Subject: Re: Die Walküre Chicago, Civic Opera House 1 November 2017


Since I hated just about everything in this production except Jovanovich
I'll attempt a defense.  He is one of the few singers I have encountered who
has managed to beef up without screwing up his sound.  His two 'W�lse's and
the final A of the first act were very impressive indeed, and he sang the
lyrical parts with great sensitivity and emotion (all the while revoltingly
pawing Sieglinde, which you can't blame him for).

I had several private messages about my original review- post, and regret
that I lost several before I could respond.  But I would like to make one
point about the fact that the Chicago reviews of this production were all
very positive.  In the day, Claudia Cassidy sometimes had malevolent
intentions in her reviews, but at least there were things she didn't like
and said as much.  Today the 'Tribune' suffers not only from the fact that
John van Rhein knows nothing about music, but from a larger problem related
to Chicago's Second City complex.  The arts are now seen as part of civic
pride, and every concert or opera performance must be praised extravagantly
in an effort to show how great Chicago is.  To do otherwise is to betray the
city.  As this attitude was taking hold, Ravinia has been turned into a
pop/rock festival, and vocal recitals downtown are a thing of the past, when
I remember Fi-Di filling the huge Auditorium Theater to the last seat for
the 'Sch�ne M�llerin'.  One last depressing thought about serious music in
Chicago.  I had a phone call from the Lyric yesterday offering to sell me
any seat for the rest of the season at 60% off.

David Kubiak


On Wed, 8 Nov 2017 19:36:19 -0500, Jay & Ralph <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

>I am listening to Die Walküre Chicago 11-01-2017I have been a fan of
Brandon Jovanovich
>since his Rappaccini's Daughter (Daniel Catán)
>at Manhattan School of Music. (1989?)That said, this Siegmund is horrid.
>He did it much better in San Francisco.Bad night or is he loosing it?J
>
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