Antonio Pappano: Opera is a private experience

From an upcoming Covent Garden series on how to enjoy opera:

 

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  • His conducting was the high point of Manon Lescaut at the Covent Garden last year – solid, precise and flexible — although I don’t necessary agree with what he has to say.

    • Pappano is the conductor people say Kirill Petrenko is. Indeed, his concerts with Santa Cecilia in DC and his NY Phil subscription concerts were in a different class than the sub-standard playing that we got from Petrenko and his sorry Bavarian band at Carnegie Hall (I attened the Brahms-Tchaikovsky concert, not the Rosenkavalier that was, unsurprisingly, slavishly praised by the New York Times).

  • I have not seen any of the programmes but I shout a big “bravo” to Pappano for tackling the subject and the TV company which is broadcasting it.

    That said, sadly the headline again is wrong! Nowhere does he dogmatically say that opera IS a “private experience”. Indeed he says the opposite. He starts with this. “Opera is the quintessential community event,” and he then goes on to mention the “coming together” of the audience. Only then does he highlight what he terms the “mystery” of opera – “and yet you CAN have the most private experience.”

  • The misleading headline is no doubt a sign of our times, preferencing the private above the communal and public. “I sit in my highly expensive seat I paid for with my hard earned cash and have my experience and who cares what it meant to anyone else… “

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