07 May 2007

“When you do opera, you have to know that the central force is the singing. The singing must be so strong to the public that nobody in the place asks, ‘Why are they singing?’ and that they are moved by the singing.”
Right. Now that we've gotten the customary lip service out of the way, let's see what's really juicy in today's episode of Gelb v. Mortier (via the New York Times).
High on (Gerard Mortier's) agenda is cooperating with Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, to make sure they do not duplicate efforts. He said he hopes to meet regularly with Mr. Gelb, which would be unusual for leaders of the two houses. “I want to know what he has in mind,” Mr. Mortier said.

For his part Mr. Gelb said that it would make sense “for us not to be stepping on each other’s toes artistically,” but that they would not coordinate in detail. “There’s no formal Versailles treaty,” he said. “I did not take Mozart and give him Verdi.”
The Treaty of Versailles is an interesting choice of metaphor, don't you think. Sieglinde is excited. This impending war at Lincoln Plaza may prove to be the most interesting sideshow in New York's opera scene since Anna Netrebko.