Friday, May 04, 2012

Zachary Woolfe on the Met HD Broadcasts

Zachary Woolfe has a couple of long pieces in the Times about the Met HD broadcasts and their effects. I highly recommend reading them:

They're really good and mostly I think he is right on. But I'm dubious when he implies that the HD broadcasts might be responsible or partly responsible for wan or lukewarm applause in house at the Met. Isn't it far more likely that lukewarm performances are responsible for that? 


Henry Holland said...

As someone who lives in a city where the resident opera company seemed intent on ceasing to exist as recently as a few years ago, I'm glad that there's the HD broadcasts. Too bad they never show anything I'm interested in, but at least they're there.

I'm completely indifferent to the "But...the glory of the human voice, riding over a large orchestra without amplification!!" attitude about singing. Considering the rep I like, I've spent far too many evenings in opera houses frustrated that I can't hear the singers because *shock* a human voice is no match against a 110 piece orchestra unless you're Birgit Nilsson.

What I find odd about the carping about the Met's (and others) HD broadcasts is that nobody has mentioned how totally effing awful the regular Saturday broadcasts can sound. If it's not a bad mix where the woodwinds are louder than the singers, it's the tons of compression they put on the signal.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Next year has pretty good HD from my standpoint - do you not like Ades? At least on record, The Tempest is terrific. Of course, Lepage is directing (groan).

I dunno, Elizabeth Connell was very, very audible over a very, very loud orchestra in both Elektra and Tristan. Prettier voice than Nilsson's, too. ;-)

I agree with you about the sound of the radio broadcasts, which I've complained about off and on since the late 90s, though maybe not here because I barely bother to listen to them the last few years.