Sunday, October 30, 2016

Be Discreet.

Okay. Someone you cared about died, and that special person wanted to spend eternity (or the life of the building) somewhere that was very, very important to him. So you do your best to realize his wishes.

Right way: very, very discreetly. A pinch under a seat, a pinch in a potted plant, a pinch in standing room, a pinch in the gift shop, a pinch in front of a famous singer's portrait or costume. And then flush the rest down the toilet or take it home with you.

Wrong way: tossing a handful into the orchestra pit, which results in the cancellation of the rest of the matinee performance - because you didn't think ahead about doing something discreet after the performance - and the cancellation of that night's performance. And also results in the NYPD terrorism squad visiting the Met, additional expense to the Met (which is making some kind of offer to patrons of the two performances), and a lot of very disappointed opera-goers, some of whom traveled significant distances to see William Tell and L'Italiana and who won't be able to return to catch subsequent performances.

Way to honor that special person.

I expect my readership knows all about this, but if not, here are the relevant articles:

Let me be quite clear: I do not at all support the notion that you should find a way to leave a friend or loved one's cremains at the Met or any other public institution, not until the Met (opera company or museum) opens its own columbarium. If you really want to honor that person's connection to the institution, make a donation in his / her / their memory, and leave it at that.


Anonymous said...

Barbera is generous because he knows the culprit personally. That makes it forgivable, then, apparently.

However, the biggest ass in the whole affair - bigger even than the original culprit - is the commenter called Seth Chodosh.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I have run into Seth Chodosh, scolding me on FB for commenting honestly on the harm done to the Met by James Levine's long goodbye.

Lisa Hirsch said...

And indeed his comments are completely odious. Bet he didn't have tickets for either of Saturday's performances.

Cameron Kelsall said...

Not to mention that Saturday's L'Italiana performance was the final one of the season -- and given that it's not exactly a repertory standard at the Met, it might be the last one for a while. (Another expense the Met will have to incur, I'm sure, is paying the performers, chorus and musicians for an aborted performance).

I can sort of understand where Barbera is coming from, but he seems a little testy in his Parterre comments when someone tries to push back even a little on his point of view. Of course, that could just be me reading into what he wrote; as we know, the internet is not a great place to ascertain tone.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yes, very true - people who had tickets will not get to see it at all. An extremely expensive day for the Met. I wonder if they have a line of insurance that covers this kind of unforeseen and unforeseeable occurrence?

I agree, Barbera sounds a little defensive about Kaiser.