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Subject: Flamebait: NA vs. Euro (was 1916)
From: Joe Schallan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Joe Schallan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:51:19 -0700
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I just played with the web interface to the list
(listserv.cuny.edu/archives/opera-log.html) and the
ease with which the archives can be searched is
awesome.  And scary, since there are all my words
-- including the intemperate ones and the ones
generated before my first cup of coffee -- immortalized.

We may all contemplate this before our next rush
to post.

A search on my last name produced 50 hits, with
"more available."  And here I thought I was almost
a lurker.  Had no idea I was so prolix.

I discovered my first post to the list was June 17,
1996 -- two months and three days before I attended
my first opera!  (My 1996 postings were even more
naive than my current ones . . . ouch!)

* * * * * *

My list of US-performed operas, 1910-1916, produced
five or six responses from European listers
(I'm including the Brits) who all said more or less
the same thing:  That they had attended or seen
performance announcements for 15 to 20 of the
operas on the list within the last five years.  No one
from the sinistral side of the Atlantic said this.

Is opera better in Europe than in North America?

By "better" I mean "exhibits more variety."  I could
also mean "more adventurous" (cf. "Eurotrash").

Here in my library we have an annual directory to
the performing arts that lists the world's opera
companies and also lists the number of performances
by each company during the previous season.

Only *one* North American company managed
more than 100 performances.  You know Who.

In Europe, 100-plus-performance companies
seem to number in the tens if not the twenties.
(I'm not in the library at the moment and don't
have the directory in front of me.)  Also,
160,000-sq-mile Germany (roughly California
sized) seems *loaded* with companies.
(Yeah, sure, the pop density is greater,
but still . . . )

After spending an enjoyable half hour with these
lists and numbers, it just seemed like Europe
has so much *more* opera . . . more than
the population differential would suggest
(600 million Euros vs. 300 mil Norteamericanos).


Warmest regards from the former Western Interior
Provinces of New Spain,

Joe


PS.  Books I'd like to see:

27 Traviatas in One Year And Lived To Tell
About It

Opera Singing for Dummies

Who Killed the Verdian Tenors?

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