Monday, December 26, 2005


The December 16 performance of An American Tragedy had another interesting novelty to it: large visible mikes at the foot of the stage. Usually (I think) these are only present for broadcasts, and I wonder if this means an official audio recording will be forthcoming. (There were no official cameras.) With the apparently universal technical glitches in Saturday's broadcast Act 2 -- not to mention widespread preemption in favor of dull Christmas-music specials -- a cleaner official document would be welcome. It could also, if the approval ratio of Opera-L commenters is any indication, help tap a strong potential audience.

As for the broadcast itself, I heard only Act 1 -- though I very much wish I'd caught the artists' roundtable. Still, as each time before, Picker's music insinuated itself into my brain, replaying in fragments afterwards late into the night and prompting an itch to be heard, in flesh, again. That, I suppose, is the bottom line of my piecemeal takes on his contribution, and not the worst way to conclude them.


  1. Uh oh, visible microphones at the foot of the stage is like a near phobia of mine, by now!

    Don't know how to post the exact link, but my Oct. 26 (hey 2 months ago!) post called "My 3rd Favorite Opera House" details the sonic disaster that ensued at a Moscow production [I didn't say it was on the Bolshoi mainstage] with not only a mixed ethnic, mixed language production of Aida, but ... (shudders) ... microphones on 5 ft high silver stands planted every 4 ft across the front of the stage. (There's more, so please do read it for yourself, if you like.)

    Hopefully, this production has better mics!!!

  2. Beg your pardon, JSU. Did you say some stations actually chose to preempt the broadcast with Christmas music? Unbelievable. At least WBJC in Baltimore only played Christmas selections by opera singers in their usual lead-up to the Met broadcast. Regarding the technical glitch, I was relieved that that was resolved just before the lake scene began.

    (Ariadne: The Bolshoi microphone story is interesting. They're still doing that? I might post my own account of my experience with that--some twenty odd years ago.)

  3. "Did you say some stations actually chose to preempt the broadcast with Christmas music?"

    Opera-L has reports. The most mind-boggling is here.

  4. You'll be amused to hear after saying I don't get something like AmTrag stuck in my head after two listenings that I had some unknown ear-worm this morning that turned out to be the rather haunting sequence with the hymn.


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.