Reading Between the Lines in Dowd’s Interview with Gelb

Interesting. As the Metropolitan Opera careens toward a management-led lockout of its orchestra musicians, singers, and workers, we have some fresh words from the man at the center of the dispute: the Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb. Recently, Mr. Gelb sat down with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd to share his thoughts on where the dispute stands, and what he’s hoping the end result would be. Continue reading

Mr. Gelb’s Disastrous Interview

My Goodness. To my readers, I offer an apology. I had hoped that with the resolution of the Minnesota Orchestra lockout, my blog could move away from discussing labor unrest, allowing me to cover topics that were more fun and entertaining.

Alas, a nearly-identical labor dispute is coming to a boil over at the Metropolitan Opera… and I can’t look away.  Continue reading

Unions Have Proof to Bolster their Claims, Gelb Does Not

One of the things about the Met’s labor dispute that has disturbed me has been the fact that Peter Gelb and his supporters have never offered any real evidence to back up their claims. Instead, Gelb has simply stated that opera is in a state of decline, and that union salaries are crippling the institution.

But I have seen nothing concrete to bolster this position. Continue reading

“Die Fledermaus”: A Sparkling Finale to Sommerfest

The Minnesota Orchestra’s summer festival Sommerfest is drawing to a close, but there is still time to catch its grand finale: Johann Strauss’ sparkling operetta, Die Fledermaus. There are a few tickets still available, and you should mob the Orchestra’s website to snap them up.

Let me tell you why. Continue reading

Greg Sandow and the “Death of Opera”

Over the past month or so, we’ve been treated to a series of reports saying that classical music, and opera in particular, is doing quite well. As I’ve commented on my blog before, Chicago’s Lyric Opera has had a record-breaking year. Opera Theatre of St. Louis had a record-breaking year. Houston Grand Opera has also had a fantastic year. All kinds of opera companies are having great years. And across the pond, several English opera houses have openly mocked the Met’s Peter Gelb for his dire warnings about the death of opera, saying they too are having great years.

And yet there are still those who continue to argue that opera is dying. Dying! Continue reading