19. May 2014 · Comments Off on Alice Coote’s Open Letter · Categories: Read Online

It is not about lights, it is not about costumes, it’s not about sets, it’s not even about sex or stature… It is ALL about the human voice. This is the Olympics of the human larynx attached to a heart and mind that wants to communicate to other hearts and minds. It is something that is done without amplification and without barriers.. It is one human singing to another. LIVE.

… it ends:

Critics.. I beg you.
Be kind to young singers -you may change the trajectory of their lives and career if you wound them with your words. Be kind to middle aged singers. Be kind to old singers. Be kind to all singers. But above all.. If you hear a singer with a great voice listen. Look too.. But above all LISTEN. Without us it’s OVER.

I read it here. Then I went to read the reviews that caused her to write this. I won’t link to them. To quote a Die Fledermaus line added to one of our opera productions years ago, “Critics … who needs ’em?!”

But how easy it is for critics to comment on other people’s bodies, be those comments negative or positive. And how typical to comment on a woman’s body.

I still say someone has to start a site that will allow audience attendees to critique the critics. NOT that I think they are always wrong, mind you: I have read reviews where a critic really nails it, be it favorable or not. But I’d sure like them to get away from commenting on the physical when it comes to music-making.

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