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Subject: Blessings of The List (was re: Test)
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Mon, 1 Jan 2018 18:00:47 -0500

text/plain (69 lines)

First, thanks to The Moderator for upping the daily postings.  I suspect it will work just fine, 
but if not, things can always revert to status quo ante.

David Kubiak wrote:

"I have been posting on the List for over ten years, and it does seem to me
its fate is linked to that of opera and classical music in general -- the
province of a few superannuated pedants.  Personally I originally found the
site to be a wonderful place to say all the things I thought when I was 16
and had nobody to talk to.  Where are the equivalent 16 year old's today?  I
sense a small and getting smaller group of us who heard Tebaldi, Corelli,
Siepi, Nilsson, Sutherland, etc., etc., and could talk about them endlessly,
and others who are just irritated at all the nattering on, especially when
it involves saying, e.g., that Netrebko is a sad substitute vocally and
otherwise for the divas of our youth."

Well, I would not describe those who value opera and classical music generally as 
"superannuated pedants."  Persons of taste and cultural discernment, certainly, but not 
necessarily superannuated nor pedantic.

This List has been a great blessing to me since I first joined it in 2002.  I agree that the 
quality of postings seems, at least to me, to have declined somewhat since I first joined.  
But I think that is because some of our most interesting, knowledgeable and articulate 
posters - Mike Richter, Vivian Liff, and Tom Kauffman, for example, AND Albert Innaurato  - 
have died.  And lets face it, our younger generations generally are not noted for incisive 
writing.  (And yes, there certainly are exceptions, but as a general rule I think this is true.)

But what a wealth of knowledge and experience and insight this List has been for me!  I 
have learned much and frequently been entertained.  I still learn from it and I am still 
entertained.  I have even enjoyed some of the catfights.  (Speaking of which, I do wish the 
moderator would allow Stefan Zucker back on the List, even if only on a probationary basis.  
There is someone with deep knowledge of the art and history of singing.)  Although my own 
contributions have been more sporadic of late, I usually read Opera-l at least every other 

Regarding Mr. Kubiak's other remarks...It is certainly true that there is a large "nostalgia 
quotient" on the List that is centered (in time) in the 50s and 60s (the formative years of 
some of our senior members).  That, to me, is not a negative.  For one thing, the 
ruminations of some of Ze Oldt Timers frequently contain more than a little wisdom (if the 
posts are not merely fan-gush put-downs).  But I disagree that those posters dominate on 
the List.  There are quite a few commentaries either from younger posters, or older ones 
whose tastes are not fixated on the past and who enjoy hearing the many fine younger 
singers we have with us today.  There is also a wide divergence of opinion on new 
productions.  I would agree that, over all, the production tastes on the List tend to be 
conservative - but that is a reflection of the fact that many of the List members are based in 
the US, where production values tend to be more conservative than those in Europe (just a 
statement of fact, not a criticism; I am among those with more conservative tastes).

If people find the quality of commentary on the List lacking, they have it in their power to 
improve it, through their own contributions.


P.S. - I know nothing of Opera-l on Facebook.  I do not belong to Facebook, as I waste quite 
enough time on the Internet as it is!  (Someone once wrote that Mark Zuckerberg is to 
wasted time what Henry Ford was to transportation.)

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