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Subject: Re: Met comentaries
From: Jesus Rivera <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jesus Rivera <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 15 Mar 1998 00:08:23 -0500

TEXT/PLAIN (55 lines)

Mr Wilson and everybody:
        Although I will agree that the Met's management should recieve a
couple of letters regarding what is considered an unpopular production I
think the audiences have used a more powerfull weapon: They have booed the
production team off the stage. I am sure the management already knows all
too well how the paying audiences feel. Grant it, I'm not goint to discuss
the pros, contras, or moral implications of booing; that is already a
discussed topic. (To boo or not to boo that's the question...)
        As a performer I strive to give my audienses the best of my
singing, even in those days when circumstances don't allow me to give a
"perfect" performance (if such a thing exists) If I think I will be
sub-standard, let the cover take over. A paying audience should never
receive a sub-standard performance if there is a way to remedie it.
        As a producer-designer-stage director, the standard should be the
same. That doesn't mean that the same ideas should be recicled over and
over; but it doesn't mean either that you will shield behind artistic
license to strip the Opera (play, ballet, fill the blank) of it's bear
essentials: the interaction between characters.
        We all know of accounts when a stage director, taking a non
traditional aproach, have been able to give a new light to the work. Think
for example the Zefirelly 1964 Traviatta at La Scala with its prelude
played to Violetta's death bed, now considered standard practice in a lot
of Traviatta performances, but a BIG source of controversy when it was
premiered. I've been in a '70's Poppea that got better reviews than any of
the shows at IU last year. I got better reviews as Arnalta than as Don
Ottavio, and I was in FULL DRAG getting a tip stuffed in my "cleavage" by
the conductor in my last aria! (if you live in a conservative town you
know how offensive something like that can seem to the audience) Or think
of P.J.S' last comment of the Covent Garden Stiffelio in page 41 of th
current ON: "I shall always picture this fine, grossly underrated Verdi
opera in this setting". (talking of the American Old West production by
Elijah Moshinsky) What did all those productions have in common? the
interactions of the characters were not jeopardized. If the characters are
in love, they did not try to convey that with a 2 mile stage between them.
If they needed to speak to each other they looked at each other. (yada,
yada, yada, you get the picture)
        Seems to me that Mr. Wilson did not do that. And a very high prize
he is paying for it. Pity, because from the one or two pictures that I saw
it looked OK, nothing mayor but bearable, providing the acting and
singing was good. Looks like the Met got the good singing and the other 3
legs of this equation are lost.
        Have you guys realized that if this was the 50's we would be trashing
Wieland Wagner's  production and now we will pay ANYTHING to see a revival
of it? Do I see any tears???
Everybody have a good day.

                        Jesus Rivera-Gonzalez
                        2602 Eatgate Ln. #2D
                        Bloomington IN 47408
                        [log in to unmask]

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