The opera review by Arthur Kaptainis that provoked a protest from Canadian Opera Company and an instant takedown by the National Post has suddenly been put back online.
Someone seems to realises they crossed a line.
Read the review here.
But will Arthur Kaptainis return to the Post? I hope so.
They did cross a line, as did the Plain Dealer years ago with Donald Rosenberg. Performing Arts companies are terrified of losing their audiences, and rather than see a review as an assessment see it as an attack on their kingdom.
The whole pack of them need to sit down and get a few things straight. Kaptainis should check his facts (AS SHOULD ALL JOURNOS…). PR people need to realise that critics — and newspapers — are not in the business of selling them tickets, but of informing their readerships, and that the information will be offered by someone who knows what he/she is talking about, and has no vested interest — therefore will do it fairly. And the paper needs to realise what critics do and hire accordingly, checking them for ability as writers, as disinterested reporters of fact, as cultured opinion-givers, and as prepared to offer careful work in a timely fashion and in the general style of the publication or other outlet.
Papers are not beholden to artists, and artists are not subject to the tastes of individual papers or their employees. The journalists DO have obligations: to their employers, to meet the standards of the outlet in question, to offer their readers/audiences intelligent, well-produced reportage and/or commentary, and to the artists, to bring sufficient knowledge of what they are doing to represent what goes on in a particular hall on a particular night with accuracy and attentiveness so that opinions they might venture are INFORMED opinions.
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