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Subject: Re: STRIKE!!!
From: kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 11 Oct 2018 11:00:21 -0500

text/plain (34 lines)

The following represents my own opinion:

There was a time when Lyric was an exciting company. Repertory choice and casting were excellent. (Conducting, though, was a perennial problem with the majority of the performances led by the company’s longtime routinier in the pit). But we had the great singers and a modicum of creativity in operas presented.

All this excitement seems to have changed with the loss of Ardis Krainik as head of the company. LOC regressed into a kind of lethargy. Certainly they didn’t have access to the plethora of golden-age singers we were used to in the 50s and into the early 60s. No one could replace Callas, Gobbi, Christoff, di Stefano, Simionato, del Monaco, Tebaldi, Bjoerling and the other giants of the era. But the really fine singers of the next generation weren’t always engaged. Casting today finds us without Garanča, Tezier, Netrebko and other current stars of their quality.

And, of course, there’s the same pervasive sickness of making the productions “relevant” that we see everywhere else. Seeing the Met’s Aida telecast last week (its obvious flaw notwithstanding) made me long for the time when operas looked like what they were supposed to look like. Some of LOC’s more egregious examples of “relevance” included moving Norma up to Napoleonic era France (when precious few druids remained) and staging Rigoletto in a fancy wood-paneled mens club.

I rarely go to the opera anymore, preferring to listen to recorded performances where I don’t have to grit my teeth when exposed to concepts. I miss it. A lot!

Kurt Youngmann

> On Oct 11, 2018, at 5:14 AM, Kiwi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Haven't been to Lyric for a while--for me, I think there was a turning point when they sort of reduced mounting the operas I enjoyed most and started ignoring a lot of prominent voices in favor of lesser known one / American ones / favorites.  I'm sure someone on the list will correct me on this because I sort of stopped engaging with the house.  My sense was that their mission statement changed somehow (perhaps to become the 'American' opera house?) and their rep reflected that.  I'm sure many loved the changes and perhaps it served the interests of the local population that is just fine: has Lyric ever been an international opera destination?  (Asking honestly; I don't know.)

"The measure of a country's greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis. -Thurgood Marshall, US Supreme Court Justice 

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