Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New York City Opera

I'm very sad about the New York City Opera and if it is really gone for
good, I will miss it.

So many great memories: Julius Caesar with Beverly Sills in a brilliant
Baroque black and white setting, the incomparably vivid Mephisto of Norman
Treigle, a stunning young soprano named Carol Vaness in The Merry Wives of
Windsor, Platee in Mark Morris's ingenious  production and his follow up in
King Arthur, Manon and the Three Queens with Beverly Sills at her zenith,
the young Domingo dueling (on alternate nights) with Michael Molese, Marilyn
Niska's blazing Cio Cio San, the gifted and charismatic Patricia Brooks in
many roles including a superlative Violetta, an ideal Patience that was a
Savoyard's dream come true, A Little Night Music with Jeremy Irons and
Juliet Stevenson, Brigadoon with the most limpid voiced lyric soprano of our
time - Rebecca Luker, Louis Quilico as the finest Rigoletto I've seen on any
stage, La Clemenza di Tito and Xerxes with the peerless Lorraine Hunt.

This is a company that had a unique place in the world of opera in the
United States and it probably can't be replaced. Maybe there will be a
miraculous rebirth in some way but these are hard times for the traditional
fine arts. The "Arts" are in no danger in the United States whatsoever and
new forms of "art" are springing up every day as technology creates
opportunity. It is the older performing arts like opera and our grand
symphony orchestras, which rely on works created long before any of our
lifetimes and which would close down tomorrow without them, that are in deep
trouble everywhere and like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, the
demise of the NYCO is a clear harbinger of things to come.

Singling out one person, city or country, to blame for any of this is folly.

"What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing" from Time To Move On by Tom Petty.

James Camner

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