Posted by Lizzie on 12/07/07

Hi all: I am apparently in a TimeOut piece on the future of criticism today. I have no idea what it says, because it is behind a firewall. First move to critical future: get your stuff out from behind a firewall.Not it’s not. I just don’t understand when the “more” part is not, in fact, hyperlinked. Click the little things to the left, if you are as dumb as I am.

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Old Hag rarely interrupts with the contents of her inbox, but…

Posted by Lizzie on 05/18/07

I CHALLENGE you to find a better email than this:

You are! that was fun picking up those unavailable gay guys with you. When we doin it again??!!!

Seriously. It’s a challenge.

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Thank you for listening

Posted by Lizzie on 05/17/07

“There was a lot of wonderment about whether the transmissions will be the 21st-century equivalent to the radio broadcasts that began in the 1930s,” Mr. Scorca said. Opera managers also talked about whether theater transmissions will galvanize enthusiasm for opera and complement the performances of resident companies, he said.

Yay! In honor of the series’ continuance, a clip of the opening credits–now there are opening credits, bizarre!–for Tan Dun’s The First Emperor, which we slept through on the first round. (Although this was, apparently, the way to go.)

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But I Still Want Candy

Posted by Lizzie on 04/18/07

Probably not at all in answer to our earlier question, but happily nonetheless, Alex Ross has posted a little bit about the success of the Met’s new “The Met Goes to the Movies” initiative*, and the verdict, according to Variety at least, is…it is. We actually plunked down our $18 to see Renee Fleming in Eugene Onegin a few months ago (dragging along our real movie critic friend) and were really pleased with the HD-only elements: the unintentionally hilarious “Mikhail Baryshnikov Presents”-esque welcome clip; the behind-the-scenes film shown during intermission–suffice it to say the real-life Eugene REALLY has a crush on the real-life Renee–; and the funny faux-intermission stereo chatter and orchestral tuning with a shot of the real interior of the Met and attendant milling crowds.

Two issues, however, the first HUGE HUGE. HUGE! Okay. It was bizarre that the fake intermission CHATTER was in stereo, but not the OPERA. What the hell. Also, although ostensibly the point of these Opera in HD events is to open up the most popular operas–which mostly sell out early to subscribers, save the $400 seats–to families and young people, at Eugene Onegin in Union Square, OH and companion were the youngest people there, easily, by about 58 hundred years. The entire audience was, unsurprisingly, made up of plus-58-hundred-year-old Russians. This is, last we checked, the same crowd you see at the actual Met. (Also, it forced OH to remember how she never paid enough attention to the former BOOG when he was talking on the phone and could only manage one random “Charosho” to her seatmate when seatmate confided that Renee Fleming is a “greater artist” than Anna Netrebko. правда.)

WHY is the audience all 908 years old? First of all, last we checked, the Met didn’t advertise this ANYWHERE but on classical radio stations. We saw nothing at any school, nothing on any event email like Flavorpill or Mug or UrbanEye or VSL (okay we have NOT factchecked this, but we missed it if it was); just one or two articles in the paper for the first Times Square simulcast. The Met doesn’t let you download the calendar to iCal or subscribe your Googlecal, they don’t send you reminders to buy tickets, finding out when or where a performance is going to be ahead of time is impossible, there’s like EIGHTEEN steps to go through to Fandango to get tickets, and there’s no performances at NIGHT, when young people like to head out, lest they feel like, you know, EIGHT-HUNDRED YEAR-OLD RETIREES. And there’s candy, not alcohol. Keep the candy, of COURSE, but have a big party and serve alcohol! Young people like alcohol and parties, because then there might be sex and a reason to buy new shoes! Like the 92nd Street Y! Basically, stop leaning on the candy, is what we’re saying.

For your viewing pleasure, below, two clips making up the infamous “Letter Scene” from Onegin, wherein Fleming somehow manages both to convincingly play 17 and to get across that peculiar mix of nausea and giddy hysteria that comes when you are in l-o-v-e LOVE with no chance of it going anything but tremendously badly, poor fool. If you have twenty minutes, do watch them–it’s the simulcasttelecast, only TEENY.

(If you don’t speak French [Or Russian, ninny.–Ed], essentially she says, “I am going to write this man and tell him I love him, even though it is the dumbest thing I have done yet in my short life. Don’t be mean about it, okay? Tra-la!”)

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Also, we think it would be neat–yes, we said neat–if a real movie critic and music critic attended the entire series and wrote about it. Instead of this, which lost us at “I’m not an opera critic.” (Okay, at “Keillor.”) If someone has and we missed it, please point us to the early adopters.

* We have no idea why we keep calling it an “initiative”. “Campaign”? “Concatenation”? Whatever.

UPDATE: Ooo, Alex has pointed to this post from An Unamplified Voice, which worries whether performers will start playing to the camera now. (This is, as the writer points out, a hilariously moot point when discussing Anna Netrebko. We know, you don’t care about opera! We don’t care about you!) We still think it would be interesting for a critic to do an opera-for-the-masses analysis/critique, though.

To be serious for one second, where are these new subscribers going to come from? Look at the 2007-2008 season’s prices for a Wednesday….actually, the Family Circle is quite reasonable. It’s not that bad to be up that high, either–the bathrooms are emptier, and your coughing resonates less. We take everything back, except the part where we remember how we’ve signed up for the newsletter something like 18 times and have yet to receive ANYTHING.

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Brunch, Debussy, etc.

Posted by Lizzie on 03/27/07

We’re mildly broken up that we’ve got to go on a business trip this weekend and will thus miss New Yorker music critic Alex Ross speaking at the 92 Street Y on composers and poetry, not only because we live for art songs (we have no idea if he’ll even be discussing what a composer at a residency harrumphed was a “a pleasant pastime for the bourgeoisie”, but if he is) and because it apparently offers a sumptuous buffet brunch. ALSO: we were hoping to take it off-topic even further and ask his thoughts on the Met’s new “omigod everyone here has one foot in the grave and the other holding a $9,987 subscription we can find some blood for them to drink or some young subscribers how much is blood?” initiative. Our intitial thoughts–good god, HOW ABOUT INTEGRATING IT WITH ANY TECHNOLOGY YOUNG PEOPLE USE BESIDES THE ….internet. But we would like to hear more; if you go, go off-topic for us please. We offer no brunch, sumptuous or otherwise.

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Ducking at Birdsong, Elsewhere, etc.

Posted by Lizzie on 03/23/07

timescouplets.gifDue to various exigencies of life and our possession of something like 18 jobs of late, we think we have remembered to mention to approximately none of you that we have been doing these over here for the past few months or so–viz, fucking around with Friday’s Times headlines because God in his infinite wisdom did not see fit to give us actual skills of any kind. In any case, you’ll find today’s official poem by clicking here by five-ishy today, but today we had some overflow poetry that was too gnomic and plaintive to inflict on New York magazine’s online readership. Not too gnomic and plaintive to inflict on you, though, dear reader! We have no idea what it all means, but feel free to offer analysis. We just liked the ducking at birdsong thing.

A Relaxed Approach to Life, Up for Sale

Duty Wears on the Soul.
Citizen of the World,

You Can Call It the Little Easy,
A Road Trip Back to the Future,

New Coin of the Realm
When the Snow Begins to Fall

He May Not See It Stop.
Does Soprano Get Whacked? Does He Get a Banana Split?

Expert on Bird Talk,
When a Bird Sings an Aria, You’d Be Wise to Duck.

Walking Out to Sea
The Only Constant Is Change,

Lands You Can’t See in a Guidebook.
Who Else but an Old Buddy Can Tell How Lost You Are?

* Logo courtesy of Daily Intel. One hopes.

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Just a quick note of thanks….

Posted by Lizzie on 02/09/07

….to the passengers of the uptown bound F train at the 47-50 station yesterday at 7:32 p.m., who:

1. Literally held open the doors from crushing us for like EIGHT MINUTES despite the conductor’s attempt to do so;

2. Grabbed our bag and pushed it back from the doors so we wouldn’t be dragged to the next station in a trail of imitation leather, and;

c. With quick great alacrity and skill, threw! our! phone! that! fell! to! us! through! the! closing! doors! before the train could pull away.

Seriously, THAT GUY. Omigod, do we owe you! Feel free to get in touch for one free cell phone or any other prize of your suggestion! And to that guy who just looked at us like, Dude, WHAT the eff is wrong with you, we can respond only that–as a character in the show we were on our way to see commented–if we knew, we would have it fixed.*

* Yes, we saw Follies! Did you see us? We were the one who was not a gay man, middle-aged season subscriber, overly be-makeuped theatre major, or any combination thereof.

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