Monday, June 18, 2007

End of an era

Being allergic to June, it's been a while since I've posted -- long enough that this item is no longer news. But I can't let Peter Davis' (involuntary) departure from the periodic critics' roster pass without notice. Others have praised his technical grasp and knowledge, but such things were in my experience properly transparent to a reader, who was more likely to notice the perspective and coherent, independently considered assessment they aided. He did, for the most part, a terrific job with his method -- zooming in on the essential, what made a show go wrong or right -- picking out details stimulating even to a disagreeing mind.

With his release after 26 years by New York magazine, the city's opera criticism has lost not only its doyen but perhaps still its most interesting contributor. I hope we might read more from him in some form, and not just in the retrospective mode of his singer-history book.

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Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.