Mystery score

Mystery score

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Programs

Dear Editor:

I love the long articles in your programs, and I see that you've got composer bios, performer bios, a list of all orchestra members, and so on. But could you please put in a couple more things?
  • The orchestration of each piece on the program, so that I don't have to try to figure out if I'm hearing a Bach trumpet or a cornet when I'm 80 feet from the stage without my binoculars. I realize that a list of the percussion used in many modern works would take a page and a half even in 8 point type, but if the San Francisco Symphony does this, you can too.

  • Any cuts you're making in the work being performed and, preferably, a performance history. Yes, I do want to know which conductors have had at it and whether a particular soprano ever sang it here. I always wondered how critics managed to track every last cut in a four-hour opera - I can't do this for Tristan Act III, for example - and then I discovered that small miracle, the press packet. Put it in the programs, dammit. The general public wants to know in detail which version of Don Carlo(s) or La forza del destino they're about to hear.
Thank you,

Sometime Critic Who Always Wants to Know

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