Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Disappearing Cast Change Advisories

Update: I was wrong! The Met is still sending the advisories, but evidently some out-of-town journalists didn't feel a need to be updated on every change. (What is wrong with them??) The cast change advisories have been going to a smaller, more local, distribution list. I've asked them to add me back on.


I noticed during the recent Ring cycles that I hadn't gotten any email from the Metropolitan Opera about cast change advisories. If you followed along, you know that there were plenty of them: Stefan Margita and Jonas Kaufmann made it to only one each of their three scheduled performances, Eric Owens missed one Goetterdaemmerung, and Deborah Voigt missed a Siegfried.

I'd call that news, but the Met, "based on journalist feedback," has decided to send only HD broadcast cast change advisories. They'll update the web site for cast changes - meaning you have to look at every damn performance, and know what the original cast was, to determine what changed, if anything.

I think this is bad. Send the email, or have a single location on the web site for these announcements, and add an RSS feed. Don't bury the information.

I have no idea which journalists have given them feedback, except that they didn't ask me, and if I'd been offering spontaneous feedback, I'd've said "bring on the email!" Are cast change advisories really a problem for other journalists? Do opera and music journalists not know how to filter their email if several Met cast change advisories each month are overwhelming their inboxes?

Or is it just too embarrassing to have music bloggers calling attention to the changes? It's not as though we'll have James Levine withdrawing constantly in the next year or anything.

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