Gordon Getty, an amateur composer who pays for his own works to be performed, has issued a garbled and incoherent attack on opera subsidy on a classical website that he, bizarrely, subsidises.
Getty’s line of argument seems to be that stage directors would not run to sex and violence if they were not backed by public cash. He writes:
Then why does the subsidy go on?
Some is called for. The same audience goes to movies and Broadway, and reveals its preferences there. But it expects something different in the opera house. Opera is art. Art needs patience. Beethoven and Wagner and Mahler sounded all wrong at first. Now even the mass movie audience laps them up. Some subsidy is the price of patience, and patience is the price of art.
We are patient because we don’t want to gag the messenger. But why so long? Diehard leftist zeal in some suppliers, bless them or curse their carbuncles, and some on the demand side too, plus the patience duly shown for grating messages in the arts, adds up to something. Does it add up to 50 years and counting?
Don’t all answer at once. It’s a truly confused article.
Getty’s recent opera, Usher House, evoked all the wrong sorts of horror at its recent San Francisco premiere.