The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music melodrama: So who really created “The Mess at the Met” — conductor Leonard Slatkin or opera singer Angela Gheorghiu?

June 13, 2010
2 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

It’s just so juicy.

It’s like the longest opera ever composed about opera.

It just keeping going on and on. It’s beginning to makes Wagner’s “Ring” seem short and concise and friendly by comparison.

And who thought that could ever happen?

To recap:

You may recall that the prominent American conductor Leonard Slatkin (below) got so badly reviewed for his production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Metropolitan Opera this spring, that he withdrew and the Met named a substitute conductor to complete the opera’s run.


At the time, Slatkin himself admitted in his own blog that he was underprepared and didn’t know that particular opera very well.

But now he says he really did know his business and what he was doing with the music, and that it was the head diva– soprano Angela Gheorghiu (below) – who threw him off with her self-indulgent, star soloist ways.

So who, I ask, seems the more temperamental artist — a hard honor to compete for in the world of opera.

Here are links to a story about it and also to a commentary that talks about how everyone would have been better served by silence.

Here is Slatkin’s point of view with his new version of the story:

http://interact.stltoday.com/blogzone/culture-club/culture-club/2010/06/slatkin-on-met-fiasco-dont-blame-me/

And now here is a commentator’s sound advice from The Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ivan-katz-/madness-at-the-met-slatki_b_605721.html

Maybe this clip of the soprano singing a famous aria from “La Traviata” will help persuade you one way or the other:

What do you think about the Met Opera spat?

Whose side do you tend to take?

What do you think about airing the whole mess in public and allowing it to still to go on?

The Ear wants to hear.


Posted in Classical music

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