I just ran across this quote:

Battle’s handful of defenders agree she can be difficult but argue that her artistry makes her worth the trouble, and obliquely criticize the Met for not defusing the situation diplomatically. “Many great artists are difficult in their search for perfection in their craft,” says Peter Gelb, president of Sony Classical Film and Video and Wilford’s former deputy at Columbia Artists. Gelb has made nine TV programs with Battle. “The role of the Met is to support great talents. Nothing a producer does comes close to the challenge and difficulty great artists face when they go onstage.”

So now that Mr. Gelb is with the Met shouldn’t he be bringing Battle back? To show how he believes what he said? Hmmm.

I read the quote here, dated February 21, 1994.

San Jose Symphony did work with Ms. Battle once. My lips are sealed, my fingers still. I know better that to blog publicly about certain things. At least for now. 😉


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  2. I remember Denis DeCouteau (sp?) telling us one time about an experience he had guest conducting in New York – during a rehearsal it got to the singer’s entrance and he looked at her, whereupon she berated him for giving her a “cue” (something along the lines of “I am not a ‘talent’, I do not need a cue to make my entrance.”). While he didn’t feel he was actually giving her a cue, nevertheless he determined he wouldn’t do any such thing for the performance.

    He didn’t, and she biffed the entrance.

    To her credit, after the performance she approached him and told him (in essence) that any time he wanted to cue her he should feel free, whether that involved colored flashlights, fireworks, a neon sign, whatever.

  3. Er, I should point out that Denis did not mention any names, nor do I mean to imply that Ms. Battle was the performer being quoted. Just thought it was a good opry-type story.