The Met’s Verdi Requiem is cut off by PBS

The Met’s Verdi Requiem is cut off by PBS

News

norman lebrecht

September 12, 2021

The Public Broadcasting Service of the United States sold its public short last night by cutting off the 9/11 Metropolitan Opera’s Verdi Requiem in many states a couple of minutes before its conclusion.

Apparently it was overrunning the scheduled time and some advertisements might have missed their slots.

Can anyone recall a similar dereliction?

 

UPDATE: In response to protests, PBS have made the complete performance- with cut-off ending – available free to view here.

UPDATE2: PBS say sorry, we screwed up

Comments

  • Andy says:

    My PBS station would always cluelessly add voiceovers during final credits, which often obscured wonderful music, including the performance of the Radetzsky March encore at the end of the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s concert annually.

    I don’t remember ever having seen a curtailed performance.

    The most famous incident of this nature was the “Heidei Game” in 1968, when NBC in the US abandoned a National Football League broadcast with 2 minutes left in the game so the movie-of-the-week “Heidei” could start at it’s scheduled time.

    The team that was losing when the network switched away scored a touchdown during the final 2 minutes and won the game. Viewer reaction was immediate and furious, deeply embarrassing NBC and necessitating an immediate policy revision at the network. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Game

    • James Weiss says:

      It was Heidi not Heidei or is that the Japanese version?

    • RonRusyn says:

      Bravo, sir, for putting this fiasco in proper American perspective.

    • Michael Wayne Griffith says:

      Beat me to it.

    • Hmus says:

      For many years PBS has been doing this with films. Apparently they have no clue as to which films have scores where the music is not just a filler track. For example, the affiliate here (the 3rd largest ‘media market’ in the US) stepped all over the quiet ending of the 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty with the score by Bronislaw Kapr, which ends with the Bounty reduced to embers settling in a darkening sea and has an important quiet denoument utterly dependent on the score to work.

      Bang! – endtitles slammed to the left side of the screen and a shrieking loud promo for the next week of programs with loud pop music comes stampeding in…

      They are not only clueless as to classical music, they don’t even understand movies now.

      • Anthony says:

        More maddening than PBS are the current producers of opera who often are clueless concerning the historical setting of the opera, the message of the libretto, and who care nothing about the history and culture of the opera. These ego-stricken producers assume that THEY are the ones to present an opera to the public; and the real danger is that many persons who see their trash are initiates to opera and may be inclined to think that that’s the way it should be.

      • Vaquero357 says:

        The only network I know of (admittedly, I don’t watch a lot of TV) that gets end-titles/closing credits right is METV. They let them play out in their entirety, *then* got to station ID and commercials.

        PBS could learn a thing or two!

    • Giles A. says:

      Kamala should have shown up since her job is too hard for her and could use an image overhaul.

      No Schumer, De Blasio Hochul or even Cuomo bothered to offer support. Typical for these faux intellectuals not to care for their constituents…

      • Hamish says:

        Kackling Kamala!!

        She would be utterly confused by proper etiquette besides being enraged at the dominant race both on stage and in the audience she’d crack up and decry the white privilege surrounding her. Reading the “too White” donor list and board composition would send her into an even more profound psychological state. Poor little thing.

      • Former Democrat says:

        Any effort by my former party to support victims and unite our country was not expected.

        We all miss President Trump at crucial times like this.

        • Modest Defender of The Royal We says:

          Speak for yourself.
          Actually, at crucial times like this, “we” are all profoundly happy President Trump has The Pillow Guy and former Democrats like you to continue sucking up to this blabbering threat to American democracy.

        • Stacey says:

          Agree totally! Trump did an outstanding job given the democrat trash he dealt with daily.

          Biden bent over for the Taliban leaving those poor Afghan women to savages as the left remains passive.

    • Vaquero357 says:

      Ditto on the clueless voiceover covering up the Radetzky March – tho’ less of a problem now that we can buy the DVD/Blu-ray or stream straight from ORF on YouTube!!

    • Vaquero357 says:

      Ditto on the clueless voiceover messing up the Radetzky March – tho’ less of a problem now that we can get the whole concert on DVD/Blu-ray or stream from ORF on Youtube!

  • HugoPreuss says:

    “Some advertisements might have missed their slots”?? You’re talking about PBS. No advertisement slots on that station. You have to find something else, I’m afraid…

    • James Weiss says:

      PBS has had advertisements for many many years now. Try again bub.

      • V. Lind says:

        For years they masked their commercials as introductions to sponsors or some such. But although I have not used TV for a while, I recently watched a doco series originally aired on PBS. One episode had been uploaded less carefully than others, and showed the whole PBS intro package. What I saw were no different from what other networks would call commercials.

        But it is a weird decision: anyone who sponsored the Verdi Requiem to be televised on this solemn anniversary would expect it to be presented in its entirety and will not be best pleased by this. Who is PBS appeasing? The sponsor of the next programme, that was going to start a little late?

        • Patricia says:

          They don’t upload. They get programs via PBS satellite.

          • V. Lind says:

            Perhaps I was unclear. I watched a series originally aired by PBS online. It was I who saw uploads — most of which started right in to the programme. But one or two started with the PBS identification and introduction. This is where I got the “non-commercial commercials.”

        • E. Cohen says:

          Everyone is appeasing their audience you dolt!

          The photos of the roughly 99% white, old people who show up and pay are the folks to coddle. No matter the free tickets distributed, the pictures are CLEAR as to which race supports the Met in thick and thin.

          Can’t wait to see what complexion the audience will be for the new black ahem opera.. Peter will probably hire extras to fill in the cavernous holes which will be easy to spot by their younger more ethnic appearances besides their attire.

        • Harry Matthews says:

          Having toiled in the vineyards of broadcasting, I suspect that what happened was a failure of communications between the programming department and the broadcast engineers. The engineers got a “run-down” — a schedule showing exactly when programs, underwriting credits, promos for future shows, etc, are to appear. This included a specific end-time for the Verdi broadcast. Once this time arrived, the computer cut off the Met feed and moved to the next item on the run-down. Since this was a live broadcast, the programmers should have set aside a longer block of time and had a live announcer standing by to fill any extra time.

    • JW says:

      PBS does not have commercials during its programs, but it most definitely does feature advertising from its sponsors between shows. It is an important part of their income because only a very small portion of their budget comes from government.

    • Gloria Grant says:

      Last year, PBS showed a Farmers Insurance Commercial several times, since that company was helping to support Masterpiece Theater, and also, there were ads for a retirement community, in eastern Virginia.

  • PierGiorgio Maffei says:

    Somebody should have told Ms. DeYoung that the tradition is to wear a black dress when singing the Verdi Requiem

    • Jack says:

      Tradition? Not one I’ve observed at several hearings over the years.

      • A tradition?… Absolute nonsense, …I first heard the Requiem at Lewison Stadium with the Met orchestra and chorus in 1964, with Richard Tucker and Lucine Amara among the soloists, later in the’60s, twice under Bernstein, at Philharmonic Hall and so many times in so many different venues through the subsequent decades and I have never seen a female soloist dressed in black. Who’s responsible for these idiotic fallacies…?

    • frank says:

      It is also a tradition not to sing the Requiem if one’s voice has an unpleasant wobble, but that did not stop her, ditto Owens.

      • Marshall says:

        First, the cut out of the ending was jarring, maddening, unfortunate, embarrassing, disgusting etc. etc.

        As to the performance and your reaction-it shows we all hear differently. First under the circumstances-all of them considered-it was a fine performance, moving in its way. ( and that is not damning with faint praise)

        The weakest were the soloists, but the only “good” one was de Young. Perez was just under powered for the part. (and this is all hearing it on a broadcast, not live) Polenzani is a nice singer without a great voice-also under powered. Owens is “good” but simply doesn’t have much of a bass voice. De Young was the only one on the right scale vocally, only one who seemed to know what she was singing about, and the only one where you could hear the Latin text.

        • William J. says:

          Bel Canto singing is nearly all but gone with the new “singers” one must endure today. Only a precious few are worth their salt considering the talent lost in recent years.

        • Richard Bloesch says:

          I disagree. Perez was easily the best singer–thrilling, in fact.

      • Chesty l'Aida says:

        OMG yes. So much wobble

    • gtnsteve says:

      I have sung the Verdi Requiem several times over a four-decade participation in choral music. The male members of the chorus and the orchestra wore black tuxes (players and singers alike), and was certainly NO requirement for the women soloists, orchestra players, or singers to wear black.

    • Chesty l'Aida says:

      If you look at today’s Times review of the event, you’ll see what she brought to wear originally. Apparently Mr Gelb did not like it and the blue thing was provided to replace it.

      • George Wu says:

        Might as well have engaged Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown and CeeLo to more appropriately interpret Verdi the way New York has devolved.

        At least that cast would have brought in some money and viewers for a change.

    • Kate M. says:

      You’re concerned about inappropriate wardrobe choices while Biden’s choice to give Afghanistan to the Taliban has women covered up head to foot in SHEETS, segregated by gender at school and told to stay away from work!?!?!

      OOOOHHHhhhh!! Better bring in Marcia Sells the Met’s ‘Chief Diversity Officer’ ASAP since you’re so triggered beyond ALL of the PBS whiners bemoaning the insertion of 9/11 propaganda and crude cutaway to commercials. Let’s test the efficacy of her position..lol.

      You are now experiencing the capricious ways and non-values of the liberal, college-educated set Mr. Maffei. They don’t actually CARE about the victims and heroes of the 9/11/2001 attacks!!!! It’s just some bs marketing ‘assignment’ to them.

      If you’re desperate for ‘class’, I suggest you search for the acapella performance by the truly great Leontyne Price right after the towers fell. That’s when respect and pride in America was still valued. No longer with the Democrat set as they’ve proven.

      • Well put! says:

        The Left as you call them in the US don’t care about the terror attacks as it does not mesh with their nauseating diversity narrative.

        The injured and dead have been discarded while anyone related to the military or police is now met with hostility.

        The Met event was a paid gig, nothing more.

      • CM says:

        That is some demented logic. A message board about an opera that was cut off short digresses into a discussion of fashion choice and now your are turning it into some Republicans extremist rant. You at not like it, but the orange p grabber did not have the stones to get out, yet Biden had the strength to do it. All the Republicans are good for is restricting women’s rights. We have our very own Texas Taliban that have given COVID more rights in Texas than the6 give women.

        • Texas Conservative says:

          The President Trump met personally with several different groups of First Responders in NYC on 9/11. And Texans are very concerned with protecting the rights of those women who haven’t been born yet.

          • Amos says:

            Concerned with the “unborn” but not those who are actually born. The Texas motto is to let anyone carry a gun in public, vilify immigrants, prevent anyone who might not vote Republican from voting, criticize the Federal government until you demand that it clean up your state mandated disasters (electric grid) and deny scientific realities. Please pass a resolution to secede from the Union.

          • Tito W. says:

            Biden has embraced the Taliban going so far as to follow their edicts as well as surrender US resources.

            Biden allowed women to go back under full sheets again. Trump made America great again.

            Leftist like yourself don’t care about them at all. The rest of us do. It’s that CLEAR!

      • Stanley says:

        The Taliban needs to gain control of the DNC, ANTIFA, BLM and the rest of the leftist lot!

        Only then will they understand who they are supporting and what true barbarians think of them.

        Even the BBC is recognizing Biden’s madness along with its consequences.

        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58537081

  • anon says:

    They should’ve played it faster.

  • TG says:

    PBS’s telecast of the intro and end of the Verdi were awful. How is it that football games that run overtime on commercial channels are broadcast in their entirety yet PBS allows this interruption to occur on one of the most solemn days/anniversaries in our country? A truly terrible foul-up. This is NOT why we subscribe and support public television! Disgraceful!!

    • Monsoon says:

      Because NFL football games are far and away the most watched TV programs in the US (Monday Night Football is the top watched show every year). Far more people are watching the games than whatever airs next.

      • John says:

        Its called brainwashed when you talk about ametican media. Anybody that thinks NFL is intelligent and is watched by intellects are drinking too much beer and eating too much healthy food.

        • Barry Guerrero says:

          Nowhere did Monsoon mention “intellects”. I’m sure there are true intellects who think that no real intellect would watch the Verdi Requiem on television. I would question if anybody who would watch the Verdi Requiem in a concert is an ‘intellect’ at all, but I digress.

          • BrianB says:

            As Brahms said of Hans von Bulow when the latter denigrated the Verdi Requiem: you have made a fool of yourself.

    • Hal Sacks says:

      I suspect the promos were automatically programmed to run at the assumed end of the Verdi. It ran long, but the automation took over and there obviously wasn’t a human around to immediately cut back to the solemn ending. When it did Yannick was in the midst of respectfully deciding when to drop the baton.
      Heads should roll.

      • Bubbadeaux says:

        I agree, but there should have been, especially that this was such an important broadcast on an important occasion.

    • Patricia says:

      PBS doesn’t run sports.

  • Laurence Tucker says:

    Yes. In the 80’s, Sinopili was running way over with Tosca. They cut him off.

  • Brian says:

    I found the constant cutting to footage of Lower Manhattan and the 9/11 museum distracting. Almost like an advertisement for the museum. I know orchestras aren’t the most visually interesting subjects but it seemed heavy-handed here. Why not some shots of the audience or backstage activity instead?

    • Do Better says:

      You are breathtakingly clueless and missed the whole point of the broadcast. What a fatuous comment.

    • V. Lind says:

      It was being presented as a 20th anniversary memorial to the victims of 9/11, living and dead, not as a portrait of life in an orchestra.

      • Brian says:

        Well, they could say a few words about 9/11 at the start and finish (and while they’re at it, pay tribute to the victims of Covid-19, which is a much greater tragedy) and leave it there. The gauzy, interspersed images of 9/11 felt heavy-handed.

    • Linda Jamshidian says:

      I thought the videos with the glorious music profound and so moving.

    • Linda Jamshidian says:

      I found the cutting to the 911 and lower Manhattan sites profound and so moving with the glorious music and lyrics…
      This was in remembrance and tribute to those who lost their lives on 911 after all

    • This Requiem was offered as a memorial of the deaths of the victims of 9/11. The occasional views of the 9/11 memorial and the towers of.light blended inspiringly with the solemn words of the prayers of the requiem mass.
      Perhaps less whining about the dress of the singers and other supeficialities will allow for a meaningful experience of the music and words of the memorial.

    • Bubbadeaux says:

      Are you serious, Brian.

  • Graham says:

    It is very simple in fact, and it is to do with national schedules for all PBS stations, and most crucially, satellites. When the local PBS station or Great Performances, in this case, decide to do a live broadcast, they have to book a slot on the PBS satellite for the 1hr 59min needed. Then, they communicate with all PBS stations to tell them the live broadcast will happen, and then can ‘opt in’ to take the broadcast. If they do, those stations will then decide what will immediately follow the concert at 10pm and hard schedule their local broadcast systems to drop the satellite feed at 9:59pm and continue with local programming.

    So, the Verdi clearly ran long, there was no time to add on the satellite and hundreds of PBS stations had obligations to their 10pm programming. This all can’t be altered on the fly. PBS doesn’t have the resources of an ABC/NBC etc.

    And, finally advertising…yes, PBS carried underwriting, which many think is advertising. It isn’t. It can sound like it to the untrained ear, but it is utterly different and candidly a fraction of the price of commercial TV advertising. It doesn’t begin to cover the cost of a broadcast.

    Rest assured, PBS recorded the entire concert and likely in the next 24 hours, will send out an edited file to all PBS stations to replay over the next 7 days, which is standard procedure for live broadcasts. So, everything will be there.

    And yes, Kurt Masur was cut short on a NYPhil Live from Lincoln Center on NYEve once because he programmed way too much music.

    Next time…rant with facts not nonesense.

    • Anonymous says:

      “PBS Gooood.”

      Thanks Graham.

    • Mary M says:

      I appreciate the clarity of your explanation and yes, we will probably be able to access the concert in its entirety on the recorded version. Still, that does not soothe my distress at being deprived of the emotional satisfaction and triumph of an astounding performance. It won’t have the same impact as say, a random Wednesday afternoon.

    • Paul says:

      It ended LONG before 10 PM, or even 9:45. “Great Performances” regularly carries entire operas and other lengthy works. Someone just pushed the wrong button at the wrong time because they were being careless.

      • Richard says:

        Exactly. And it was not cut off minutes from the end. The final two phrases were cut off. Yes, awful, but Slipped Disc, as always, is creating a “scandal”. Since they switched back within 30 seconds, it seems likely that someone cued the promo too soon , realized the error and switched back. I know cynics are trying to make it that the work was being sacrificed to the almighty dollar. If that’s the case, they would have stuck with the promo.

        • Stephen Owades says:

          The promo that the live broadcast jumped to was for the next “Great Performances” program, featuring the Vienna Phil outdoors at the Schönbrunn Palace. It then jumped into a promo bit from another PBS program. Nobody was paying for those clips, and surely they weren’t inserted intentionally or by an automated process. Someone hit the wrong button at WNET and fumbled when trying to recover. The entire program is available without the screw-ups on demand now. (The start of Misty Copeland’s introduction to the event, from the 9/11 Memorial, had been missing her microphone in the live show.)

    • Thankyou Sir!
      PBS has flaws, but when the money flows in, the public could always expect some terrific programs! Simply put, not enough of us are digging deep, to keep those programs aired .. there are hard times for many!
      Maybe just having a little gratitude would be refreshing … America is spoilt I’m afraid
      Thankyou for putting the situation into perspective!
      Lisa in
      L. A

    • Sues says:

      Thank you for the perfect explanation!

    • CM says:

      Graham, the flaw in your arrogant rant is that if you know how the programing and satellite feeds works then so does PBS. And it was PBS that choose to allow it to happen. They could have eliminated the worthless into and used the allotted time exclusively for the performance. Instead they look like a bunch of hacks one might expect from a cable access show from the 80’s. But go ahead acting superior, while also knowing that you are completely wrong.

  • phf655 says:

    Tempos were very very slow. The performance started on a minute or two past 8:00, and the incident referred to above occurred at 9:40. PBS suddenly cut to an advertisement/publicity for its future programming – actually the Vienna Philharmonic’s outdoor concert conducted by Daniel Harding. What was missing was more like a few seconds, rather than a few minutes, but it was very jarring to have the quiet end of the ‘Libera Me’ cut off, after being deliciously sung by Ailyn Perez. Someone realized that a mistake was made, and after a minute or two they went back to the Met, where the applause was broadcast!

  • Nina Staiger says:

    I have never seen an interruption to a musical performance, especially as important as the Verdi Requiem being performed in honor of all those who lost their lives on 9/11.
    Something is very wrong here.

  • John says:

    It happens all too often. This one was simply intolerable, considering the emotions of the day. I switched to another PBS station that also had been cut short, thinking the error may have been my local affiliate. I came back and then got a texgt saying the other station was back on. I quickly popped back and got the final quiet seconds following the end of the Requiem. Someone or something seemed to trigger it back after the commercial. And, no matter how you color them, public service announcements or whatever, they’re commercials. And yes, far too often intrusive when voice overs come on during final credits of varied programs. Got to appease the advertisers (aka supporters).

  • Paul says:

    Sometimes musical ignorance has consequences.
    Yes, I was shocked by this. I was following the orchestral score of this last night, and about 10 bars before the very end of this 90+ minute work, the lyrics of which talk about fire and dust and ashes and agony, PBS cuts to a promotional, completely ruining this solemn work performed for a solemn remembrance. What freekin’ morons they had behind the PBS controls last night.

  • Mark McLaren says:

    This was shocking. And embarrassing.

  • J'aime la musique says:

    My local PBS station did the same thing at least twice in the past – 1) when the end of Tchaikovsky Symphony #5 (New York Philharmonic with Kurt Masur) was cut off, and 2) during an interview with Joshua Bell as part of one of his concerts (also with the New York Philharmonic, I believe).

  • Bill says:

    Usually PBS tells the performing organization the time limit and the organization will fit it to that time. This has been pretty standard operating procedure for years. PBS is made up of 100’s of local stations that all have a strict schedule to stick with, just like the commercial broadcasters. The only exception for this is Football, a hard lesson by the commercial broadcasters learned after the notorious Heidi incident in 1968 where an unfinished football game was cut off to air the regularly scheduled broadcast of “Heidi”. Outrage ensued and broadcasters have adjusted their schedules ever since. PBS is a much different organization and can not order its affiliates the way the commercial broadcasters can. A couple of quicker tempos during the performance would have made it fit. This is on Yannick, not PBS.

    • M Hougen says:

      There was a lengthy standing ovation at the beginning as the soloists and director entered. I wonder if that might have caused the piece to run long. Yannick’s interpretation is not to blame.
      Whatever the reason…..it was most disturbing!

    • TG says:

      Seriously? You’re blaming the conductor?!! That’s the silliest comment ever. That’s like blaming an actor for speaking his lines too slowly. At the top of the broadcast the young dancer who introduced this GREAT PERFORMANCES broadcast did say that the Verdi runs approximately 90 minutes but are we pulling out a stopwatch or maybe you’d like to see a metronome in the lower corner of the screen? It’s not an edited TV show … it is LIVE. Face it, PBS should have been a little more savvy especially for such an important tribute on one of the saddest days in modern U.S. history. C’mon … P.S. Yannick’s tempos were what they were and personally, they were pretty damn spectacular – ESPECIALLY in the DIES IRAE.

  • Kenny says:

    “Public Badcasting Service of the Untied States” is funnier….

    C’mon, its been 40 years since they last functioned at any level.

  • Watched the whole concert here in Portland, Oregon, and it was not cut off. Almost 30 seconds of silence between the last note and the applause. Perfect.

    • Stephen Owades says:

      Almost certainly incorrect, since the interruption happened on many stations including WNET-13 in New York, which uplinks it to the PBS satellite. Portland could not have avoided it.

      • Allen Abel says:

        PBS may have had a later separate feed for the West Coast. Back when I was working at an ABC affiliate, their West Coast feed was on a different satellite channel, running 3 hours later than the Eastern/Central/Mountain time zone feed.

  • ANNE M PRICE says:

    PBS’s presentation last night of Verdi’s Requiem was, disgraceful and insensitive. The end of the Requiem last night included a short period of silence during which the musicians froze their instruments with bows in place on strings and other instruments paused as if frozen in place, until finally the conductor lowered his arms. It was one of the most moving performances I have ever seen at the Met in 70 years. For anyone who lost someone on 9/11, PBS’s decision to cut out the high point of this 9/11 memorial service was highly offensive. Shame on PBS! And please train your staff to understand that a musical performance does not end until the conductor puts down their baton.

  • Amos says:

    I realize that comments regarding the performances led by YN-S are often tainted by extra-musical considerations but I found this one to be amongst the most affected and least engaging of Verdi in memory. Every note required theatrics from the podium that easily surpassed anything on screen by Daniel Day-Lewis and yet the actual performance lacked the vitality realized by conductor as supposedly emotionally distant as Toscanini and Szell. The orchestra certainly appeared attentive and the chorus first-rate but I find it difficult to believe that the ultimate intended audience was moved one iota toward remembrance, rage or comfort.

  • KPG says:

    Since Ms. Bugg took over as head of programming in 2020, PBS has taken a turn for the worse. Cutting off a Requiem intended to honor the victims of 9/11 is not the only glaring blunder at PBS yesterday. They also failed to include the documentary called Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero in their 20 anniversary programming. This PBS production was run on the first anniversary of the attacks, and at each anniversary thereafter for at least a decade. As far as I know, it is the only documentary of its kind, looking at the event from a unique perspective. It is unlike the countless other homogenous documentaries of the event, and is what we expect from PBS. Instead PBS ran unremarkable, generic documentaries on this landmark anniversary. A true disappointment.

  • Raymond Osborne says:

    I thought it was a local station screw up. Apparently not.

  • Concerned opera buff says:

    I though that for once, at this concert that had a deep meaning, the conductor should have worn formal wear instead of showing up wearing a sweatshirt that he might wear to a rehearsal. It was disrespectful. Everyone else was in formal wear. It was good to see how much this event meant to the audience, who gave the musicians a rousing welcome. It would have been more appropriate for him to dress as formal as everyone else. I don’t care if he wanted to be comfortable. Show some respect.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Agreed. Looked like a women’s track suit from Lululemon. I guess he got wardrobe advice from the General Manager.

    • TG says:

      So, “concerned opera buff”: should Yannick have used a score as well? Did you notice he conducted from memory? Have you ever seen von Karajan, Seiji Ozawa, or a whole host of conductors (including Bernstein) wearing something other than tales? I have … Perhaps it is more important that we allow great musicians to present themselves in the most comfortable manner to allow music to be made organically. The traditions of concert attire are never something that should distract from the music being made. While we’re at it, we’re you dressed up at home watching the broadcast? It seems opera audiences are getting a little reckless these days with what they wear when watching performances. Stop picking on Maestro Nezet-Seguin’s choice of concert attire and focus on the finished product for goodness sake!

    • Bubbadeaux says:

      I have been an avid opera and classical music buff since the age of 6. Comments here about the garb of the performers and conductor are silly and inappropriate.

  • Dennis Porter says:

    It was so disappointing and unnecessary for PBS to cut off the superb performance of the Verdi Requiem early. Why was not enough time allotted? Are you going to rebroadcast the Requiem in its entirety?

  • Peter says:

    Extremely disrespectful, certainly regarding the occasion of this performance. I may consider ending my yearlong membership and would not be surprised if many more members would do that.
    Shame on PBS…!!!

    • V. Lind says:

      I hope you read through all these comments. It is increasingly apparently that the cut-off was a mistake VERY quickly sorted. It is regrettable, deserves review, letters of complaint, etc., and a comment from PBS apologising to viewers affected (apparently not the western time zone).

      If you are without sin, cast this stone. Unfortunately some mistakes, however trifling, are necessarily more public than others. But I doubt many of us have gone through our careers without making a mistake.

  • This wide-screen Verdi really stank, pretty much from top to bottom. And the most moving part is what PBS cut off. It’s a gorgeous lullaby in which the deceased is lovingly laid to rest. What insensitive idiots!!!

  • Couperin says:

    I think what people are really saying without saying it here is that Yannick sucks! His last five minutes of Mahler 2 a couple weeks back were atrocious and the orchestra sounded terrible. Back to work, I guess!

  • Mayflower says:

    Here’s a correct PBS link to the entire performance, and the ending is NOT cut off. https://www.pbs.org/video/great-performances-verdis-requiem-the-met-remembers-911-7gdu4q/

  • BrianB says:

    Historians of broadcast history will know that in the ’40s NBC twice cut even the august Toscanini off the air when he ran over the alloted hour time slot, once playing Smetana and once Beethoven. But they never abridged the GM commercial talk.
    But cutting off a commemorative Requiem on such a solemn occasion–and from a publicly funded network–takes real chutzpah.

  • Giuseppe Verdi says:

    It was a stunning performance, but here’s what I don’t understand: why weren’t more of the string players wearing masks? From what I understand, the company is fully vaccinated and tested 1-2 times weekly, but unless they are getting tested every single time prior to entering the building, crowding together unmasked presents a very real danger of Covid spread (which can be carried and transmitted by those who are vaxxed) to young family members, or other people in their outside-the-Met orbits who are vulnerable. I couldn’t stop thinking about this while watching the performance. I hope that a tragedy does not emerge from not testing every day.

  • Phillip says:

    It’s happened to football telecasts, with violent reactions.

  • Ilio says:

    There seems to be no mention that it was an East Coast problem for those with the live feed. Those who viewed out west saw the whole complete Requiem. Not great for the East Coast, but not everyone had the problem.

    • Marshall says:

      Please explain? The broadcast was live and if live to the west coast, and the cut out at the end was part of the entire PBS system, how did it not occur out there?

      More likely you were watching it on a delay which meant the problem had been fixed.

      Or more simply what time di you start watching it west coast?

  • Hilly says:

    Am perfectly willing to forgive PBS ,if they faithfully promise to cut away three minutes into “fire shut up in mybones”

  • Patrick says:

    I was enraged by the abrupt cut-off. PBS owes contributors like myself an explanation and promise that it will not happen again in the future. Amazing that some flexibility was not built in to accommodate the live event. As to the performance, I thought it superb, although I admit I’m not familiar with other versions. Ms. DeYoung covered herself in glory and the other soloists were at a very high level. Sound quality was excellent, but favored the soloists a bit much for my taste.

  • Kurt Anderson says:

    PBS does not directly produce programs, their primary function is to schedule and distribute them. The Great Performances Met Opera 9/11 Verdi Requiem was produced by both the Met Opera and WNET NYC. Someone in the control room for WNET made a mistake for the live feed that went out in the Eastern US. They ran the PBS logo signifying the end of the program and started running promotional announcements. Those that saw a delayed feed in the midwest or western US did not see the mistake.

  • socaldesign says:

    It would be interesting to know where all the comments are coming from. I watched it in it’s entirety in Southern California.

  • TG says:

    Maestro Nezet-Seguin is a rising star in the music world. Conducting the Verdi from memory was no easy feat especially under the tremendous stress of the 9/11 20 year remembrance. At the very least the lasting impact of this very special concert was an affirmation that despite the horrific intent of 9/11 and the results of that terrible day, we can and will live on. The performing arts NEED our support now more than ever. Whether or not you enjoyed the Met’s comeback performance, it was a powerful reminder of the astounding impact that music can and will have on all of us. We’d all be a lot better off in this world if we only stopped every now and then to truly appreciate the arts and how they can bring us together.

  • William Keller says:

    Not the same but the DVD of Walküre with Levine cut out Christa Ludwig’s extended and final curtain call after Act 2.

    • Kenny says:

      The telecast was in 1989. Her final performance, which was also Walkuere, was in 1993, and that’s where the extra curtain call happened.

  • Patricia says:

    I am not a fan of Verdi. I would rather hear a period performance of the Mozart “Requiem.” No wobbles.

  • Hmus says:

    Not only was the ending of the Verdi cut off measures early, the enusing broadcast from the Vienna Philharmonic was also begun ‘in progress’ after the useless station ID promos – for the same concert they were about to show! – and began several minutes into the performance of the Rachmaninoff Paganini variations – focussed on the top of Igor Levit’s male pattern baldness. Two Dr. Mangler instances in a row.

  • Smiling Larry says:

    In typical Met fashion, the broadcast is spoiled by Gary Halvorson’s distracting and hyperactive camerawork. Many a Met HD transmission has been ruined by his incessant zooms, cuts, pivots, swoops, you name the disorienting gimmick and it’s there, desperately trying to impress with his pointless versatility and draining the performance of its cumulative impact.

  • Harold says:

    How like them. Money talks music walks.

  • Kevin says:

    Time for some of us to grow up.
    PBS certainly did not do this intentionally. Yes, it was a screw up but not “disgraceful”, “shocking”, “disrespectful”, or any of the other epithets hurled here.
    Embarrassing? Yes. Unfortunate? Certainly.
    Disturbing? Perhaps.
    But worthy of cancelling ones support of PBS (the last bastion of culture and the Arts on over-the-air television) over?
    Definitely not.

  • Sidelius says:

    Many of the comments reflect an avalanche of hostility and disparagement toward PBS. The criticism is understandable, but should be proportional. It should not spread into an occasion for hysterical PBS bashing. PBS is still, as it has been for 50+ years, the most thoughtful, wide-ranging, culturally ambitious TV outlet we have in America taken overall. This is achieved in spite of levels of public funding that are laughably tiny and ridiculous for the mission we ask of them. Just about any of our peer “advanced” nations invest far more per person. It’s true, one could probably come up with a 10 or 20 page memo of ways they might improve, but if you look at what else is being offered in America, it still stands alone. We are not a nation of high-brow culture creatures, alas. Be thankful they exist at all. There are plenty of right-wingers who would love to stomp them out altogether. Send them your most creative suggestions, and urge your representatives to SEND THEM MORE MONEY!, for crying out loud! Culture deserves stimulus too!

  • PBS cut a classical performance short?

    When’s the last time one of the commercial networks broadcast a classical performance at all?

    If PBS runs long on Verdi’s Req then their affiliate stations have to decide whether to cut in anyway with scheduled programming, start the scheduled programming late, or show the scheduled programming with the beginning missing.

    The scheduled programming is what the local viewer “members” and “underwriters” pay for with their donations. Disappointing them is also bad.

    It’s not a simple matter of having as much time as they need.

  • HHaynes says:

    The cut-off at end of the Verdi was hideous. I was so po’d. I assumed it was a technical glitch or maybe somebody pressed the button too soon for the ‘commercials’ and to get to the movie as the performance did run overtime (which shouldn’t be a big surprise with a live performance). Perhaps I was just overwhelmed with the thrill of a live performance after all this pandemic time, the emotions of 9/11and of course, the Verdi Requiem itself but I enjoyed the performance tremendously. Live performance is never perfect and certainly I could nitpick but why bother. There were a lot of beautiful moments.

  • Stephen Veenker says:

    A few years ago when the Met was using The Machine as its setpiece for the Ring, the contraption would not take the reset prompts during the last intermission of the Saturday performance broadcast around the world by the Met. The intermission was extended by about 20 minutes. As a result, when the last several minutes were unfolding, many Public stations which use automated programming cut the Opera and ran the 5 p.m. Weekend All Things Considered. My station, WFMT Chicago, had a live announcer at the board, and we heard it all. I told the announcer what had happened elsewhere and he was amazed. Lucky us!

  • Minnesota says:

    I remember some years ago during the Olympics that the finale of the Beethoven 9 was performed live and broadcast all over the world. But the network inserted a commercial break in the middle of it. Couldn’t believe it, but it was and is typical of American networks.

  • STEVE BAUMAN says:

    I agree with TG. Fortunately here in the San Francisco Bay Area our local PBS station did show the entire program before cutting into it’s revised programming. For me, having sung in the Requiem chorus and having umpteen recordings of it, this was a very moving performance. I definitely loved Yannick’s conducting. Yes it was unhurried as I believe this Requiem should be, but all of the passion was there. In addition to conducting from memory, he mouthed all of the words so that the chorus could see them without their noses buried in the score. Extremely helpful.

    Again, for me, I thought Yanick and Ailyn Pérez were the absolute stars of this performance, but Matthew Polenzani too small-voiced (but excellent otherwise). I feel that for this piece was not only miscast, having a consistent wobble, but absolutely the wrong timbre. My own opinion of course (my favorite highly recommended version of the Requiem is the Price/Elias/Björling/Tozzi/Reiner. It, too is on the slow side, but for me, absolutely perfect.

    My main quibble with this broadcast (and typical with so many music performances) is the poor sound. The dynamic range was totally destroyed due to excessive audio limiting. When so many of the softer passages were broadcast at the same volume level as the fortissimo passages, IT IS DEAD WRONG!!

    But at the end of this performance with Yannick holding his arms up for those last 30 seconds of silence (you could have heard a pin drop in the audience), this was one of the most profoundly emotional parts of the entire performance. Unforgettable.

  • amelia di Stovia says:

    Besides all this TV stuff:
    How is it possible that nobody did say anything about the terrible inappropriate dress of Michelle deYoung? Is she so much in need to stick out in a marine-blue dress to get attention?
    Even in a memorial concert (9/11)?
    Shameful,tasteless.

  • JW Notaries says:

    Yeah this isn’t surprising. Pbs has been so mindless of how they handle things like this in the past, it’s bound to happen again. I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re reading about their next faux pas.

  • Haig Mardirosian says:

    PBS’ apology is a non-apology. It mirrors the passive-aggressive techniques of the customer-service world. “Tell you what, since you are a valued customer and are upset, we’ll give you a replay for free.”

    Sounds like my fault for being upset.

    The issue was that PBS disrespected a great work of art, doing what it was intended of it as a Requiem – an essay on life and death and life beyond death – at a stunningly powerful moment of the nation commemorating a dark moment in its history. An apology should have said that the broadcast purveyors of art, learning, and culture had neither the insight, intelligence, or integrity to realize their obligation. Rather, PBS bowed to its own technocratic and crass commercial interests.

    Arrogance over art. Formula over feeling. Money over memorial.

    A replay is a cheap way out. The real moment is gone; the real music faded, literally, in the moment that PBS told us to come back for something else.

    Your long transition to commercial entertainment is replete.

    • Helden Sopran says:

      What a fantastic comment, I hope you send it everywhere!!!! I have struggled trying to write something that expresses the depth of my outrage and was simply too obfuscated to come up with something eloquent. Well you have expressed it for me sir!!!! Bravo! and thank you for your clear-headed eloquence

  • Dr. Earle R. Hitchner III says:

    Making the entire, uninterrupted broadcast available on computers and laptops rather than on a large-screen TV with sound enhancement, which is what I was watching the original marred broadcast on, is hardly a sincere mea culpa from PBS-TV and, in my locale, WHYY-TV. PBS and WHYY should rerun the full, unblighted broadcast as soon as possible on television and no other medium. That’s the least they can do to make amends to members and donors.

  • Bill says:

    Audience Engagement Specialist- aka wedding planner?

  • Bubbadeaux says:

    This was the rudest, most disrespectful thing I have ever seen on PBS. This performance was memorializing the victims and heroes of 911. We expect this kind of behavior from the Oscars, cutting off people’s speeches…NOT from PBS!!! Someone needs to lose their job. Immediately.

  • PBS has gone woke. Go woke, Go broke!

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