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Beyond what I've read in the Times over the past ten years or so, I don't know anything about Gérard Mortier, but I know that I don't like what he stands for. The incoming head of New York City Opera represents everything that makes me sorry I'm alive today, when theatre directors don't trust composers and librettists to have been sufficiently "creative." There is nothing to do with, say, Così fan tutte other than to follow the notes and the stage directions. City Opera's current production of this Mozart opera succeeds not because of the sophomoric staging and set design but because the singers are gifted and fit. For the most part, they look and sound like lovers. (The opera's subtitle is "La scuola degli amanti" - the school for lovers.)

I was off M Mortier the moment I heard that he did not intend to fight for a new home for City Opera. The New York State Theatre, like the other buildings in Lincoln Center, ought to be torn down. Why do Americans not only make but insist upon denying having made such terrible mistakes? Vietnam! Iraq! Lincoln Center! I could go on... If City Opera is to complement the Metropolitan Opera, it ought to be small - or smallish. A house of fifteen hundred seats, say. With a thrust stage for the singers and the orchestra backstage. Minimal props - nothing to get in the way of fine singing. No conductors, no directors, no lighting designers - none of that crapage! Just opera.

Some days, I am very tired of life.


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I have never liked Lincoln Center architecturally, though it certainly served its purpose, given when it was erected. The idea of a "cultural campus" is still a good one though.

Perhaps we need the new mega-monied hedgefund kids to pony up for new houses on the current sites in exchange for tax deductions and social cache. The State Theatre and the Philharmonic certainly need to be scrapped and the Met could use a new facade, perhaps bumping it out further into the plaza to provide for a real restaurant that will not encroach on the promenade. Later, the interior of the hall could be refitted to amend its decorative deprivations and shortcomings while leaving its (I believe) state-of-the-art backstage intact.

They would do well to build down, if there is space, below the plaza to house a movie theatre for art films too, as well as a store for classical music, since we can no longer depend on the marketplace to provide such a venue; Tower Records RIP.

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