Harold Prince: Trump has turned America’s atmosphere viral

Harold Prince: Trump has turned America’s atmosphere viral


norman lebrecht

May 19, 2017

Letter to the New York Times from the veteran theatre and opera producer:

There’s a saying in the theater that whoever occupies the star’s dressing room creates the atmosphere backstage. If you have a leading lady or gentleman who is easy to get along with, undemanding, friendly and charming, the cast follows suit, and you have few if any problems. If you have a diva or a narcissistic star, the atmosphere turns viral.

I’ve been thinking about that recently in terms of our national trauma, and I believe that the star in our dressing room has brought about the epidemic of dangerous mood changes, random episodes of violence and a general malaise in the lives of most Americans.

I’m more than observing it; I’m living it.



  • Alexander says:

    in other words Mr.Prince wanted to say that Mr.Trump is “Il Divo” or what ?

    • John Kelly says:

      More like Il Duce……………..showing that you can fool some of the people all of the time…………

      • Edgar says:

        No, not Il Duce. Il Ducino.

        • Alexander says:

          …..as far as I know originally “duce” was related to “leader” or “captain” / any way he is christian and try to fight so-called IS … was never engaged in politics though ( me) and therefore never was interesting in it . period 😉

  • Matt says:

    America you dumb buggers!!!!! You did this to yourself and voted the stupid douche bag in!!!!!!!!

    • Hilary says:

      There needs to be some soul-searching as to why this abberation occurred, then there’s a possibility of moving forward . It’s not enough to berate the voters for being stupid. Ditto, Brexit.

    • Jay Haskel says:

      I didn’t but you are quite right.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Why do you generalize? A minority of Americans did it.

      • Bruce says:

        Actually a majority of Americans did it: the ones who voted for him, plus the ones who failed to vote against him. Everyone who voted for a 3rd-party candidate knowing he/she had no chance to win, and everyone who stayed home because they didn’t want to vote for Hillary, in effect cast a vote for Trump. They may not have meant it to turn out that way, but it did.

        (I can understand the “my state is not a swing state, so I can vote for Stein and it won’t affect the outcome, but maybe her party will get enough votes to qualify for federal funding next time around” point of view, but the “I’m tired of having to choose between the lesser of two evils” point of view is IMHO childish. Grownups have to choose between the lesser of two evils all the time.)

        • Petros Linardos says:

          Given the strong antiestablishment sentiment, I doubt that many third party candidates could have gone to Clinton.

  • Rich C. says:

    Sore loser.

  • Bruce says:

    While it’s true that there has been a poisonous atmosphere in Washington DC and, by extension, the rest of the country since at least the Clinton administration, the president himself has usually stayed mostly above the fray (or pretended to). Not this president.

  • Mike says:

    Typical comments from another clueless, liberal elitist.

    • John 415 says:

      I agree! It sounds like most of the folks here are engaging in quasi-intellectual “virtual signaling.” Let’s face it. Hillary was not a choice. Why not worry less about Trump and do something nice for your neighbor today?!

  • Mike Schachter says:

    I don’t agree with the majority of what Trump says and does, often very different things, but he was elected by the system which has been n place for 200 years and is apparently OK along as it gives the result the coastal intelligentsia approves of. As another poster has noted we have had the similar response in the UK which apparently has at least 17 million xenophobic racists. I don’t think so. Essentiallyon both sides of the Atlantic it is clear that so-called elites are more of a threat to democracy that Trump and his friends. Incidentally we Danny de Vito has arrived here and told us to vote for Corbyn. After that is actual voting really necessary?

  • Marc says:

    Harold Prince has been having a long conversation with Pauline Kael, I guess.