Jessica Duchen's Classical Music & Ballet Blog. Novelist/journalist JD writes for The Independent, London
Transposing the discussion about New York, Jurowski, and cross-dressing tenors here, first, the New York Times review of Hansel at the Met is here, also with praise for Jurowski (without the Philly critic's not so hidden agenda). A slightly snarkier review is from the New York Sun here.That aside, I'm sorry about that bad experience that you had with the New York audience that time. While I don't live there, I do visit at least once a year, and I haven't found NY audiences any worse than other places. The musical literacy and interest level is, of course, much higher there than the rest of the US (OK, that's not saying much, I know.) I think, or like to think, that you just caught the short straw in terms of an audience that day. As in any classical audience, the majority are quite attentive, but granted, all it takes is one loudmouth to ruin it for everyone else.Actually, the worst example in my recent memory of a rude audience member was in Chicago, for Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette, Boulez conducting. One idiot young woman (no other word will do) whispered to her neighbors at times, which I suspect didn't please them either. At one point, she even took a flash photo during one passage. I gave her an extremely nasty look, and I could hear her go "what?", as if I was the one who committed the concert faux pas. I think she may have disappeared after intermission, or some such thing. So US audiences can be dumb and rude anywhere, not just New York.(Full disclosure: I was born in NYC, so I feel somewhat honor-bound to defend my hometown.)
Hm, I guess it makes me realise how long it is since I attended - or even visited - any US city except NYC! Must have been the Van Cliburn Competition in, er....well, around a decade ago. There the audiences were more than fine - involved, excited and supportive of competition, pianists and visiting journos alike. Cameras are a scourge here too. Someone took a photo once at the start of Mahler 5 in the RFH, just as the solo trumpet was about to hit his high note. FLASH. And the poor guy missed it. By the way, I adore New York and for a long time dreamed of living there.
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