The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Why are critics picking on the Metropolitan Opera and its general director Peter Gelb, and why is Gelb picking on the critics? Plus the National Memorial Day concert airs tonight on PBS. | May 27, 2012

AN ALERT: Remember to remember. The National Memorial Day Concert, broadcast live from the west lawn of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., will air tonight on PBS. There won’t be a lot of classical music on the program, but the National Symphony Orchestra will perform. And the broadcast of the concert will be repeated tomorrow night on many PBS channels. What classical music would you like them to perform and do you think it appropriate to remember veterans and mark Memorial Day?

By Jacob Stockinger

In some important ways, this has been a very good year for the Metropolitan Opera’s general director Peter Gelb (below).

He raised a record amount of money for the world’s most famous opera house, and his Met Live in HD broadcasts continue to expand and now reach thousands of movie theaters around the world.

Yet especially when it comes to Robert Lepage’s new production of Richard Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, Gelb has still come in for harsh words from such celebrated critics as Alex Ross of The New Yorker magazine, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times and Anne Midgette of The Washington Post.

Now, it seems, Opera News has joined the fray.

And Gelb tried fighting back.

Here is link to a roundup of the drama, that latest act, that is threatening to turn the Metropolitan Opera (below) in an opera itself.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/05/23/153512997/an-online-debate-of-operatic-intensity-the-met-and-its-critics

But is the Met’s story, and Gelb’s, a comic opera or tragic opera? That is the question.

What do you think?

Do you share the criticism of Gelb?


2 Comments »

  1. I don’t much care for Wagner’s music (“sublime moments, tedious half-hours”), but even I might be tempted to see this spectacle, just for the spectacleness of it. The media photos are breathtaking.

    Comment by Susan Fiore — May 27, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    • Dear Susan,
      Thanks for reading and replying.
      I too do not care much for Wagner’s music. In fact, I like his instrumental music much better than his vocal music.
      But you are right: This production of this Ring cycle is indeed spectacular to see — I have seen all four operas via Live in HD broadcasts — and, I would argue, to hear.
      Best,
      Jake

      Comment by welltemperedear — May 27, 2012 @ 9:18 am


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