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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000541.txt from 2004/10

Subj: Re: [kl] Opera productions that should be damned
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 11:47:43 -0400


The general arguement for "artistic expression" seems to be interesting and timeless. Without attributing values (right/wrong) I think there is a clear difference between works that historically were sponsored by patrons (very high quality, based on supply/demand and aristocratic taste) and the modern government subsidized version.

Last week, there was a news clip about a work of art commissioned for a library in Southern California. The artwork listed many famous authors and most of them were inadvertantly mispelled. The artist was infuriated by the library request for correct spelling and California law prohibits any changes to commissioned art without the artist's permission. The final result was a substantial payment to the artist who reluctantly agreed to change the spelling. From my perspective, spelling does count in front of the library. But, the law would have prohibited a change if the artist refused.

When it comes to ecclectic productions, I think the best defense is to attend sometime other than opening night. Unfortunately, when you are working a gig you are subjected to whatever comes along. The good news is that you also get paid in that situation! My situation is a little easier because I appreciate many (not all) modern works.

When it comes to appreciation, I REALLY appreciate performances that demonstrate respect for the original works.

Rich Watson

In a message dated 10/20/2004 6:49:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time, "Patricia A. Smith" <> writes:

>Matthew Lloyd wrote:
>>I can't accept this. The reason for the way the production is done in a certain way shouldn't need to be explained.
>><snipped for space>
>>I have nothing against modern production - indeed I am taking my wife to see the current modern dress Cosi at Covent Garden on Saturday as it is superb (I saw it a couple of weeks ago). What I don't accept is
>>productions that display no sympathy, empathy or even knowledge of the opera itself.
>>Would you put a bit of beat to the Mozart Clarinet Concerto if it would make it more hip with the youngsters? If not, why do the same (or at least an analogous adaptation) to one of his operas.
>I must agree with Matthew here.  The point I feel he was making, and
>that I concur with is that it is one thing to adapt staging and setting
>of a work in which the timeless heart is intact.  It is something else
>entirely when that work is presented in such a way that it is obvious
>that those presenting the work have no concept of the heart of the work
>at all.
>Certain "adaptations" come off as gratuitous and tacky, no matter when
>they occur.
>Patricia Smith
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