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Subject: James Levine [Comment]
From: Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 1 Jan 2018 00:09:17 -0500

text/plain (46 lines)

Isaac Schankler wrote:

>This is such a strange, elliptical, cowardly piece of writing.... Mr. Swed
seems to ask for "forgiveness" for James Levine because of something (he
doesn't say what) contained in Mozart's operas. If that sounds absurd,
that's because it is. On the redemptive power of opera Mr. Swed writes:....
"Some of Levine’s most persuasively illuminating performances happened to
revolve around compassionately confronting the frailties, foibles and
outright crimes of Mozart’s characters as they are coaxed into an
examination of inner lives".... If Levine could pantomime this compassion
"persuasively" while doing terrible things, isn't that actually an argument
for the impotence of opera as a moral compass?

The above was in response to this article by Mark Swed:,amp.html?__twitter_impression=true

While I find Swed's column somewhat mystifying and not entirely
satisfactory (mostly because of a lack clarity), I don't necessarily find
it 'cowardly'.

But here is my main question to Mr. Schankler.

Are we really as a country going to ONLY hold people accountable for their
sexual misbehavior? What about people who humiliate others or berate them;
what about sadists who find perfectly legal ways to traumatize people?

Do they all get a free pass because it didn't involve sex because we've
decided that only sexual behavior can traumatize?

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