The Lemon Grove
Image: Lemons

They didn't like the CD And the critics on this page make no bones about it!

Short-shrifting the singers Opera reviews in general circulation newspapers are under space contraints, and there is considerable editorial pressure (rightly so) to cover the visual aspects of the production as well as the musical ones.  However, I sometimes wonder whether there is another (unspoken) contraint - the reviewers' lack of ability to write knowledgeably and in detail about vocal performances. Unfortunately, one finds this even in the specialised music press, where there is no excuse for writing off singers with glib 'one-liners'. The short-shrift page presents an on-going list of offenses.

A sleepwalk towards disaster at the Garden Rodney Milnes' over the top and longwinded diatribe on the ROH Sonnambula production during which he manages to insult not only the audience but also the musicians. Didn't the principle singers deserve more than a few comments tossed off four sentences at the end? Although, the tone was positive, Anthony Tommasini's  review of the Verdi Requiem New York 17 April 2002, similarly sins by tossing off the singers with a few stock phrases.

Bring your own gag The Financial Times' Martin Bernheimer in a particularly ill-tempered mood at
the Met's 2002 Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

L.A. Opera's "Passion" a mixed blessing Variety's Alan Rich in a particularly ill-tempered mood after Roberto Alagna's Otello.

Juan 'Rigoletto' Pons This 'review' of the Met's 29 March 2002 performance of Rigoletto is quite a disgrace both to its author, 'Manon Lescaut', who has wisely used a pseudonym since he was clearly nowhere near the opera house on the night in question and to MundoClasico who published it. The review fulsomely praises Juan Pons' Rigoletto, as well as Marcelo Alvarez 's Duke, and trashes Domingo's conducting, making reference to his previous bad conducting job at Seville, and gratuitously trashing Señora Domingo's sets for La Traviata there. Well... in the 29 March performance, Rigoletto was sung by Guelfi, not Pons. The Duke was sung by Vargas, not Alvarez, and the conductor was Guidarini not Domingo. A few days later, the conductor's name was changed to Guidarini, but nothing else in the article was altered. And to top it all off, the accompanying photo was of Pons in Falstaff not Rigoletto.


This page was last updated on: December 3, 2006