If the tradition of the avant-garde assumes the participation of the audience, or even goes out of its way to provoke the audience, then what are the obligations of that audience? Naturally, people want to be polite. They also want to get their money’s worth. Beyond that, however, what are your obligations as a ticket-holder if the musician has abandoned what used to be considered his or her obligations: to entertain you, to engage you, to take you someplace strange and exciting.

I’m beginning to think: Not much. Spoleto audiences typically want to appear refined. But they might rediscover the value of being honest, too, and just walking out if something is not to their liking. It’ll be good for audiences, good for the festival, good for composers, and good for the art.

(Read here)

I just wrote a long comment about this, but I’ve decided to delete it. I don’t want everyone to hate me too much! But I do understand leaving sometimes. Really.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: oboeinsight » Blog Archive » Don’t Get Me Wrong …

  2. Ha, well I’m allowed to write whatever I want b/c I don’t have to worry about offending anyone (here). :-)

    IMO, you are certainly allowed to leave early if you are not enjoying the performance. However, you should do so with consideration towards the other audience members and should not impair *their* enjoyment.

    However, I have a big caveat here. If you are a reviewer, I think you *should* stay for the entire performance. You are not *obligated* to, and if you state that your review only covers part of the performance, you’re still within your bounds. But I don’t think you’re doing a good job as a reviewer if you do not stay through the entire performance, even if you do not enjoy it or if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

  3. Man, you sure offended me. Big time.

    Just kidding … of course!

    Reviewers who leave early drive me nuts unless they are honest about it. I’ve learned that some are forced to leave early to make their deadline. (A shame, but what can ya do?) I think reviewers who leave early because they didn’t like the concert are quite wrong and should stick it out, if only to tell us it never got any better.

    But then I’m not a reviewer! Maybe I’d change my mind if that were the case, eh?