“She sang equally well lying on her back or kneeling atop her lover. This technique reduced Masetto to an obedient puppy – and probably many Eastman Theatre patrons as well.”
- the D & C’s Stuart Low, writing about Mercury Opera’s recent production of Don Giovanni
What do you want to read about in a review? Background info on the musicians? What about the hall, the crowds, or the color of the conductor’s hair? Critics debate about this stuff all the time. Some say they should stick to the music and only the music. Others want to capture the flavors, sights, and smells of the hall.
Writer Stephen Marc Beaudoin sent me a link to a website run by NYC’s widely read opera queen slash critic “La Cieca," who dissected a review by New York Times critic Bernard Holland and created a pie chart showing the contents of the review. It was an all-Schubert recital at Carnegie Hall. This pie chart analyzes what Mr. Holland wrote about.
Inspired by this bit of silliness, I analyzed a recent review by staff music critic Stuart Low of the (Rochester, NY) Democrat and Chronicle. Mr. Low reviewed Mercury Opera’s production of Don Giovanni by Mozart. As you can see, he wrote (mostly) about the performance.
Clearly, Mr. Low was in the room and paying attention. Bravo!
Read the rest of Stuart Low’s entertaining review: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AI...
Bernard Holland’s review: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/arts/music/21schu.html?_r=...
See “La Cieca," her pie chart, and the ensuing debate here: http://parterre.com/2008/01/weekend-at-bernie.html_