The New York Times' Anthony Tommasini seems to be getting a fair amount of stick these days -- some of it warranted, but do you folks remember his predecessors!? -- but this article returns to one of his most admirable moments: the long crusade against City Opera's electronic "enhancement".
As he originally predicted, miking has slowly gotten more obvious and widespread since that first crack of the door. (Most notable here: that loved-by-theater-critics, trashed-by-opera-folks (amplified) run of Luhrmann's Boheme.)
What he doesn't mention this time, though the article appears in IHT, is that it's not just an American issue: a growing number of European venues has been using electronic sound sweetener as well, including the Berlin State Opera. Does the local press there even mention this sort of thing?
In my New York experience, City Opera's sound system is often the least of its problems, though use sometimes verges on the abusive, while BAM abuses its version quite a lot. The Met, of course, remains fairly purist -- though a pessimist might wonder what Gelb has in store.
UPDATE (1:45AM): It appears the Met isn't always purist enough. Perhaps they've been taking too much advice from Barbara Cook?
UPDATE 2 (3AM): This wouldn't be a bad place for FTC or its state equivalents to mandate full (or at least pretty substantial) disclosure. Any consumer advocate types out there? (Perhaps throwing in pop lipsynching disclosure would get the ball moving...)