Buzz

Korupcia v opere / Corruption at the opera
18 May 2015
Peter Breiner
[English version below]  Orchester Metropolitnej opery v New Yorku patrí k najlepším na svete. Nie som idealista, aby som si myslel, že v takom preduchovnelom prostredí, akým je klasická hudba, sa nevyskytujú chamtiví bližšokošelníci ako všade inde. Dúfal som len , že najväcšie špicky si chránia kvalitu, ako bolo vždy zvykom.

Kdeže. Internet a televízne sútaže redukujú kvalitu cohokolvek na najnižší spolocný menovatel. Masové nadšenie z najhroznejších sraciek je všetko prekonávajúci argument. A trh nepustí. 




Najprv som sa dostal na generálku dvojpredstavenia Jolanta - Modrofúzov zámok. Dobrá inscenácia Teatru Wielkego so slovenskou scénografiou. Dirigoval (blazeovane a otrávene) Putinov kamoš Valerij Ghergiev. Medzi spevákmi bolo zopár amatérov, ktorých výkony by spôsobili rozpaky aj na opernej scéne v Hronskom Benadiku a to už bolo po výmene najhorších za menej zlých. Napospol Ghergievove kone, dovezené z Ruska, ktoré Met musí prijat, inak majsterko odmietne dirigovat a pritiahnut tak sprosté, ale bohaté obecenstvo, ktorému by nevadilo, ani keby zo scény bucal Martin Jakubec.
Skutocný (a jediný) hrdina tohto krátkeho príbehu - Štefan Kocán
V predstavení Aidy, kde spieval skvelý slovenský bas Štefan Kocán (kvôli nemu som tam išiel a nesklamal, bol najlepší) sa opät vyskytlo, vdaka Valerijovi, zopár nie príliš talentovaných a primerane falošných sovietskych prírastkov. Co však bolo najhoršie, dirigoval bývalý úspešný tenor a neúspešný barytón, Placido Domingo, majster zákulisných motúzikov. Ak hovorím dirigoval, tak len preto, že to bolo v programe. Opät, vydierané vedenie nemá inú možnost a obecenstvo víta maestra nadšeným štrnganím šperkov.

Je naozaj velké umenie rozhodit jeden z najlepších orchestrov v úplne štandardnom kúsku ako Aida. Maestrovi sa to podarilo hned niekolkokrát a len duchaprítomnost muzikantov zabránila zrážke elektriciek. Speváci úpenlivo sledovali koncertného majstra, ktorý to za dirigenta musel odmakat, ale aj tak sa casto ocitli mimo hlavného hudobného prúdu.
Po troch hodinách trápenia, za hlucných ovácií, sa majsterko vybral na scénu pouklánat. Potom podišiel k orchestrisku, aby sa podakoval a poklonil spolu s orchestrom a bol  dost prekvapený, ked videl prázdnu jamu, lebo roztrpcený orchester odišiel. To sa len tak nevidí.
Vedeniu opery, ba ani kritikom, ktorí nechcú zbytocne kolísat opernú lodicku na už aj tak búrlivej hladine, to však nevadí. Kvalita nie je dôležitá, ak je dost bohatých hlupákov. V najbližšom predstavení budú spievat maciatka, majú najviac klikov. 
Toto je len opera. Pars pro toto. Máme sa na co tešit.
=================================The Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera in New York is among the best in the world. I am not such an idealist to think that in a highly sophisticated environment, such as classical music, greedy nepotists do not exist as they do everywhere else. I only hoped that our top institutions would protect their quality, their own reputation, as has always been the custom.

Nah. Internet and television competition reduced the quality of seemingly everything to the lowest common denominator. Mass enthusiasm for the most horrifying shit is an all-pervasive argument. The market won't let go.

Few weeks ago, I visited the rehearsal of the double feature Yolanta - Bluebeard's Castle. First, the good: staging by the Polish Teatr Wielky with a Slovak set designer was quite nice. However, it was conducted by Putin's (smug and annoyed) buddy Valery Ghergiev. To my surprise, there were a few amateurs among the professional singers whose performances would cause embarrassment to the opera stage in Hronský Benadik, if there were one. To add insult to injury, they apparently had sent the worst singer packing back to Mama Russia already. These terrible creatures, then, were Ghergiev's horses, imported from Russia. The Met had to take the bad (or awful) with the good, otherwise the champion would refuse to conduct and thus draw the stupid (but rich!) audience, who would never be able to tell the difference.

The performances of Aida, where the great Slovak basso Štefan Kocán sang (I went to hear him and was not disappointed, he was the best) also included, courtesy of Valery, some not-so-talented and very much out of tune Soviet heroes. What was totally appalling was asking the former successful tenor and unsuccessful baritone, Placido Domingo to conduct. Another example of backstage string pulling, no doubt. If I call him a conductor, it's only because the program and the poster said so. Again, Met management seemingly had no choice and the enthusiastic crowd welcomed the maestro with jewelry-jingling applause every time he appeared.

One would think it would be impossible to cause a disruption in the orchestra in such a standard piece of repertoire as Aida--especially the unflappable Met orchestra. Maestro Domingo succeeded many times over, and only the quality of the musicianship prevented a complete disaster. Singers, very often confused by maestro's train dispatching, desperately followed the concertmaster, who had a double job that night.

After three hours of suffering and a noisy ovation, the conductor went to take a bow from the stage. Then he wanted to thank the orchestra and was quite surprised when he saw the empty pit, because the irritated orchestra had had it and went home, not even wanting to be thanked. Not your typical turn of events.

Neither the management nor the critics will ever mention these events because times are tough, and selling tickets has priority over small details like allowing amateurish performances at what is supposed to be one of the world's best opera stages. Quality is not important if we manage to attract enough rich fools. I expect singing kittens in some of the next performances, as those are the most popular on the ‘Net...and thus Met.
And this is only opera. And it is not much different elsewhere, even in more important areas of life. Much to look forward to, fellows.

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