Re: Opera electro-acoustrique

Subject: Re: Opera electro-acoustrique
From: philip thompson (
Date: Fri Apr 23 1999 - 13:32:33 EDT

Despite a shared sense of disdain for the disproportionate amount of public
funding which goes to so called major institutions, I'm not convinced that
turning opera and ballet houses into to glorified karaoke bars is is a good
solution. I don't know that the coal stoker on the diesel engine analogy can
be extended very far. Like many trombonists, I have practiced the Bach cello
suites as etudes. But I would never perform them in public. They just do not
work on the instrument. That's also how I feel about substituting pre-recorded
music for music conceived for live acoustic performance. It just doesn't work
and it's not good sound either.

Wouldn't it be nice though, if priority for public funds were given to
institutions doing really innovative programing (as opposed to innovative
marketing of the same tired fare)? There are so many composers doing
interesting things with opera and even including (gasp) electroacoustic
elements, but finding a venue is nearly impossible (I'm talking about folks
with all the right grants and awards on their CVs, not just schlepps like
myself ).

Rainy and mild here in the 'burgh. Our tulips are loving it.




> Another nail in the coffin? ... or just waking up?
> Daniel Leduc wrote:
> >La guilde des musiciens de Montréal vient de loger une plainte formelle
> >contre les producteurs de l'Opéra Notre-Dame de Paris. Tout
> >l'accompagnement musical est effectué à partir d'une bande. Il n'y a pas
> >une seule note jouée 'live'. mis-à-part les voix des chanteurs (et encore,
> >m'aurait raconté un complice...).
> The Montreal Musicians Guild is filing a formal grievance against the
> producers of the opera (musical) Notre-Dame de Paris. All of the
> accompaniment is on tape. There isn't a single 'live' note played ...
> apart from singers.
> From my experience with the "Guild" the issue is not that the sound is on
> tape, but rather that "live" music parts are pre-recorded. In many cases,
> 'players' have had to be hired, and sit in the pit, paid but unplaying.
> Sounds a bit like the firemen (coal stoakers) who used to ride trains
> when diesel replaced steam.
> Best
> Kevin

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Wed Jun 11 2003 - 13:08:56 EDT