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Subject: Wilson's reaction
From: James Jorden <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 16 Mar 1998 00:39:14 -0600

text/plain (35 lines)

Mitchell Weitz wrote:
> Today's New York Times has an interview with Robert Wilson about the
> audience's reaction to his new LOHENGRIN.

And a sorry attempt at damage control it is:  Wilson just mouths the party
line about "conservative Met audiences" and Gussow gushes about Wilson's
status as a "beloved artist" in Europe.

Wilson and Gussow both act as if the controversial elements of the
production were the stage setting and lighting (neither of which were
particularly avant-garde) without addressing the *real* weak point of this
show:  the emotional coldness and lack of humanity of the robot-like
gestures and heavy-drag costumes and makeup imposed upon the performers.

Wilson also insists he  "wanted to help the Met singers feel more
comfortable on stage and to give their best performances."  Why then, did
he install traffic-light devices in the wings to control their every
gesture?  If Wilson attempted to modify his methods to the comfort of the
singers, he does not appear to have been very successful:  both Deborah
Voight and Deborah Polaski gave hesitant and non-committal answers when
asked about Wilson's methods on this Saturday's opera quiz.

This whole controversy is testimony to the influence and financial power
of Wilson's publicity machine.  In this as in so many artistic fields,
"famous" is not the same thing as "talented."

james jorden
[log in to unmask]

"Was brauche ich einen Baum auf der Buehne, wenn ich eine Astrid Varnay
    -- Wieland Wagner

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