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  1. 02 Aug '13 23:16
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/157406285/Letter-to-the-BBC?sf15664739=1

    This very silly person thinks she knows it all and thinks opera is irrelevant and only for rich/elitist types. She is a fool!
  2. 03 Aug '13 19:51
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/157406285/Letter-to-the-BBC?sf15664739=1

    This very silly person thinks she knows it all and thinks opera is irrelevant and only for rich/elitist types. She is a fool!
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A8Nyc833IqA&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DA8Nyc833IqA

    The actual interview, which I have not watched yet.
  3. 03 Aug '13 20:16
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A8Nyc833IqA&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DA8Nyc833IqA

    The actual interview, which I have not watched yet.
    Thanks for posting the interview. I will watch it later.
  4. 04 Aug '13 06:02
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/157406285/Letter-to-the-BBC?sf15664739=1

    This very silly person thinks she knows it all and thinks opera is irrelevant and only for rich/elitist types. She is a fool!
    This letter is an absolutely hilarious retort.

    It's funny how the charge that opera is elitist (ie, accessible only to the expert and educated) is used as justification by people such as Sarah Montague for cutting public subsidies to the medium, which really would make it elitist (ie, accessible only to the rich).

    In Stockholm, the best seats in the stalls go for about 60 euros, whereas in London they can reach 225 pounds.
  5. 04 Aug '13 14:23
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    This letter is an absolutely hilarious retort.

    It's funny how the charge that opera is elitist (ie, accessible only to the expert and educated) is used as justification by people such as Sarah Montague for cutting public subsidies to the medium, which really would make it elitist (ie, accessible only to the rich).

    In Stockholm, the best seats in the stalls go for about 60 euros, whereas in London they can reach 225 pounds.
    I deplore all these elitist people calling others elitist. This reporter is a complete ignoramus and steeped in class warfare rhetoric like many leftists such as her.
  6. 04 Aug '13 18:51
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    I deplore all these elitist people calling others elitist. This reporter is a complete ignoramus and steeped in class warfare rhetoric like many leftists such as her.
    Ironic that the interview also took place in Proms season, where you get a proms ticket for £5.

    You can also get a proms season pass for £190, which gets you all 75 concerts. That's £2.53 a concert.
  7. 05 Aug '13 02:01
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Ironic that the interview also took place in Proms season, where you get a proms ticket for £5.

    You can also get a proms season pass for £190, which gets you all 75 concerts. That's £2.53 a concert.
    Wow! I'd love to have something similar in good old Texas. My opera season tickets are $300 in the nosebleed section for only four operas.
  8. 05 Aug '13 11:33
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    This reporter is a complete ignoramus and steeped in class warfare rhetoric like many leftists such as her.
    Although, as suggested in my comment on Stockholm opera prices, it's often the moderate left who are prepared to put in place policies that ensure the arts are available to all classes, rather than keeping them at "elitist" market prices!
  9. 05 Aug '13 11:53 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Although, as suggested in my comment on Stockholm opera prices, it's often the moderate left who are prepared to put in place policies that ensure the arts are available to all classes, rather than keeping them at "elitist" market prices!
    That's one argument I've never been against with regards to leftist policies, but one must never forget that the right has been the greatest patrons of the arts leftists now promote via subsidies. To wit, Lorenzo il Magnifico, de facto father of Tudor dynasty and indirect savior of Mother England, the many popes likes the de la Rovere popes Sixtus and Giuilianus, the Medici popes, and even alleged poisonerAlexander VI, Borgia pope, Colonna popes, Farnese popes, house of D'Este, Gonzaga, royal house of Austria during Haydn's, Mozart's and Beethoven's time, Ludwig II of Bavaria with Wagner. Too many to count. Without these wealthy patrons we would likely not have the great classical art we enjoy today. Or how about Lodovico Sforza in Milan with Da Vinci who then goes to France where the monarchy bankrolls him. Way too many to count, but certainly wealth was less idle then than now. And even today opera would never be possible without great contributions from wealthy patrons as well as the world's great universities, museums, parks, etc. My daughter attneds one of these great institutions, University of Chicago, brought back from the dead my John Rockefeller who then also contributes the chapel and carillon bells for the chapel tower at the tune of $30M in the 30's.
  10. 05 Aug '13 16:31 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    That's one argument I've never been against with regards to leftist policies, but one must never forget that the right has been the greatest patrons of the arts leftists now promote via subsidies.
    Well, I suppose so (although I remember John Reilly, a conservative Catholic writer whose blog I used to enjoy, talking about how the terms "left" and "right" only really have meaning in the context of the Enlightenment and thereafter). In any case, while one continues to celebrate the art those tyrants brought into the world, isn't it true that the extreme left, at least in its Eastern European manifestation (the East Asian version was a different matter), was also generally committed to supporting high culture, at least in the curatorial sense?

    George Steiner commented in his quasi-autobiography, Errata, that "at certain times, in East Berlin or Warsaw or Leningrad, it may have looked as if Goethe and Schiller, Mozart and Pushkin had eclipsed trash. I remember evenings in Berlin with half-a dozen classical-musical recitals and serious plays, ranging from Sophocles to Shakespeare to Brecht, on offer." He added, "I plead guilty to finding this somewhat grimly intoxicating", but acknowledged that the impact had not survived the coming of democracy. "Virtually overnight, freedom reclaimed its inalienable right to junk-food."
  11. 06 Aug '13 11:38
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Well, I suppose so (although I remember John Reilly, a conservative Catholic writer whose blog I used to enjoy, talking about how the terms "left" and "right" only really have meaning in the context of the Enlightenment and thereafter). In any case, while one continues to celebrate the art those tyrants brought into the world, isn't it true that the extrem ...[text shortened]... mocracy. "Virtually overnight, freedom reclaimed its inalienable right to junk-food."
    Never forget how Stalin treated Shostakovich. The difference lies in artistic liberty. Compare Stalin's to Ludwig II's. Reverse the artists and think of Wagner being dictated what he may or may not write. Can you imagine the D'Este constraining Lodovico Ariosto's epic Orlando Furioso in the manner Stalin shackled his artists? It is easy to feign culturedness all the while using the arts funded by capitalists and at the same time constraining living artists. Hitler did the same in the name of avoiding degeneracy. The full circle of right/left closes in rather quickly once the take the awful turn towards tyranny.

    As for Reilly, his argument is silly from the standpoint of names. These are only names which have iterated throughout history. Let's go to republican Rome, for example. Optimates vs Populares. Most definitely right and left respectively. I am not saying one is right and the other wrong. It is but a manner of seeing how politics focuses on governing. No one would confuse Lorenzo de Medici with a Populare and therefore he was of the right as were the always reactionary popes of Renaissance times.
  12. 06 Aug '13 21:17
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    Never forget how Stalin treated Shostakovich. The difference lies in artistic liberty. Compare Stalin's to Ludwig II's. Reverse the artists and think of Wagner being dictated what he may or may not write. Can you imagine the D'Este constraining Lodovico Ariosto's epic Orlando Furioso in the manner Stalin shackled his artists? It is easy to feign culture ...[text shortened]... nd therefore he was of the right as were the always reactionary popes of Renaissance times.
    Ludwig II may be a less apposite comparison than some of the Renaissance patrons you mention; and they often seem to have given extraordinarily precise instructions about choice of topic, figures and symbolism, with a blatant ideological purpose / implication. On the other hand, I can't imagine Stalin personally holding up the mirror for a sculptor in the way that the future Pope Urban VIII did for Bernini!

    As I suggested in my previous post, the positive role of the extreme left in the arts is often "curatorial". Frightened of art that might directly address the issues of the day, they retreat to the classic because it can be more safely be confined within a purely aesthetic realm. Some of us, of course, happen to think that the great masterpieces of Mozart (or Shakespeare, or Tolstoy, or Vermeer, etc) have their political (along with their moral) relevance; but this possibility probably didn't penetrate the skulls of Soviet apparatchiks!

    Have you read Jaan Kross' great novel, The Czar's Madman? A superb response to the experience of life under Communism, by an author who had more reason than most to be angry, but who addressed the matter with an exquisite poise and droll, dry wit.
  13. 06 Aug '13 23:33
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Ludwig II may be a less apposite comparison than some of the Renaissance patrons you mention; and they often seem to have given extraordinarily precise instructions about choice of topic, figures and symbolism, with a blatant ideological purpose / implication. On the other hand, I can't imagine Stalin personally holding up the mirror for a sculptor in the ...[text shortened]... most to be angry, but who addressed the matter with an exquisite poise and droll, dry wit.
    I have not read the novel you suggest, but will most certainly look it up. It is certainly repugnant what happened during the Czarist and communist eras. No adroit wit can sugarcoat either regime, but especially not communism with it over 100M deaths. However, narratives of Kross' kind are preferable to reading the true harsh reality of communism.

    Instructions never stopped the artists from delivering their political messages during Renaissance times such as in the Sistine Chapel's frescoes doing so in subtle and not so subtle means by Buonarroti via his knowledge of Midrash and Kaballa and his deep knowledge of the Old and New Testaments, acquired during his time in the court of Lorenzo de Medici where he hobnobbed with Pico de la Mirandola, Ficino and Poliziano. Constrains have always existed either by patrons or social conventions and have stopped full free expression. Except today, when many works push limits to unheard of levels than before. There's rarely been complete artistic liberty, yet some constraints have exacerbated artists' abilities to circumvent such constraints via their creativity. Without doubt there have been some patrons more dictatorial than others. Literary greats of the past always seem to get away with more ribaldry than pictorial artists, excepting librettists, always more censored than novelists or poets like Ariosto.
  14. 07 Aug '13 11:41
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    I have not read the novel you suggest, but will most certainly look it up. It is certainly repugnant what happened during the Czarist and communist eras. No adroit wit can sugarcoat either regime, but especially not communism with it over 100M deaths. However, narratives of Kross' kind are preferable to reading the true harsh reality of communism.

    I ...[text shortened]... l artists, excepting librettists, always more censored than novelists or poets like Ariosto.
    I certainly recommend The Czar's Madman - it is an extraordinary book, and a most revealing account of the Estonian experience as part of the Russian Empire, which, of course, Kross uses to mount an implicit critique of the Soviet regime still in control of Estonia when he wrote. We also benefit from a superb translation by Finnish-American poet Anselm Hollo.

    Interesting the point you make about librettists being more censored than prose writers - presumably this is because it was felt that the stage was a more public medium with a more easily influenced mass audience! The same thing happened of course to cinema in the early part of the twentieth century (and, as you suggest, adroit artists found ways round the censorship).
  15. 07 Aug '13 23:06
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    I certainly recommend The Czar's Madman - it is an extraordinary book, and a most revealing account of the Estonian experience as part of the Russian Empire, which, of course, Kross uses to mount an implicit critique of the Soviet regime still in control of Estonia when he wrote. We also benefit from a superb translation by Finnish-American poet Anselm Hol ...[text shortened]... of the twentieth century (and, as you suggest, adroit artists found ways round the censorship).
    The creativity evidenced by those working around censorship has always amazed me. Indeed censorship was more intense the wider the audience for any medium being censored. Then there were others who self censored and still created great works within the constraints of their medium and instead broke free into different directions such as Mategna with his studies on perspective. I am sure you have at least seen pictures of his famous Camera degli Sposi in the Pallazzo Ducale in Mantova with its fake oculus. Others simply were content with never rocking the proverbial boat such as Raphael. Papa Haydn was the musical equivalent along with Bach. Mozart was much smarter than either of these two and always went for libretti pushing the envelope such as Le Nozze di Figaro already based on a rare example of the much censored novel by Beaumarchais.

    What happened in Estonia was terrible under both communism and Nazism. Is there an equivalent novel about what happened in Stalin's petri dish of Ukraine? Stalin killed at least 7M Ukrainians before the Nazis got their own turn.