Saturday, May 18, 2013

Defending the Indefensible

The Times has a puff piece on the dismantling of The Machine, that nasty unit set used for the Met's current Ring production, which is going into storage for the nonce. Ho hum, except for the quotations from Peter Gelb, who inserts his foot farther into his digestive system with every comment:
Mr. Gelb suggested that the machine had become a scapegoat. “One of the reasons the ‘Ring’ has been criticized so much is people disagree with his approach, not the machine,” he said, referring to Mr. Lepage. “The machine is a victim, not entirely innocent because of its creakiness, but, you know, every production at the Met makes some noise.” 
He said he had not lost his enthusiasm for the machine. “It worked far more times than it didn’t work, and when it didn’t work sometimes, the machine was blamed when it wasn’t its fault.” He mentioned a moment in “Das Rheingold” last month when a jam on a separate “track-and-trolley” device prevented acrobats from zooming over the stage. Still, that problem forced the crew to stop the machine. 
He added that while it had delayed that 2011 “Die Walküre,” it had never interrupted a performance. “I’ve been to Broadway shows where the performance was stopped and the audience sat with the house lights on because things weren’t working,” he said. “That never happened to us.”

Yeah, that 45-minute delay to reboot the thing for Die Walkuere, who cares?
Nobody believes a word Peter Gelb says about the production at this point; actually, people disagree with the approach (brainless) and The Machine (worthless, dull). I'd suggest that he cut his losses by keeping his mouth shut.

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