The Well-Tempered Ear

Have you ever booed? Would you ever boo? Let the Metropolitan Opera know.

September 24, 2009
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By Jacob Stockinger

By now, you have perhaps heard that the normally cheering and conservative audience at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City booed Swiss director Luc Bondy (below right) for his new production of Puccini’s “Tosca.” (It replaced the longtime Met favorite staging by Franco Zeffirelli.) Luc Bondy

From various news reports, it seems most of the audience did not at all like the austere and non-traditional set, with some lush violence and edgy eroticism, that they felt interfered with the staging of the classic masterpiece. (A New York Times photo by  Richard Temine  is below center).

Tosca2

Now, I have heard live performances of music – and seen live performances of theater – that I did not like or even downright despised.

I usually stare down at my shoes or make a disapproving face that my concert-partner and surrounding others can see.

But I can’t recall having ever booed.

For me, it takes a certain amount of courage to boo. Or maybe just plain rudeness coupled with a lack of appreciation of the effort behind even a bad result.

But maybe I’m just being prudish because booing in one sense doesn’t seem any more extreme or unjustified than so many standing ovations.

Anyway, here’s alink to a story about the Met booing: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/arts/music/23opera.html?_r=1

And here’s what I want to know:

What do you think of booing in general and the booing at the Met?

Have you ever booed a live performance?

Why?

Would you boo?

When or under what circumstances?

The Ear wants to hear.


Posted in Classical music

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