Saturday, 21 January 2012

Global Hypocrisy

I don't know whether it's the same where you are (of course it bloody well is), but there appears to be a global conspiracy of unfairness when it comes to the treatment of certain people. Here's what I mean:

We have an excellent young Argentinian colleague who is keen to learn, talented and open to new ideas. He is surrounded by a bunch of third-rate hacks who would never have had a career had they not been Italian. These latter are, for some inexplicable reason, untouchable. God only knows why. You are Italian, you sing Italian opera, so you are, by definition, an expert. Mon cul, as you would say in French. Everyone in the production department realises this yet cannot, for reasons best known to themselves, 'address' the problem, so they pick on the Argentinian guy, venting all their frustration on him.

I'm not a greenhorn. I've been in this business for 25 years, yet this kind of situation continues to make my blood boil, not least for the effect it hs on the unjustly attacked, who don't yet necessarily understand why they are consistently in the line of fire. My only desire is that everyone knows where they stand, preferably with a minimum of honesty on the part of those judging them. Unnecessary tensions in this business are so often created by incompetents, yet the effects can be devastating on those not yet fully conversant with the childish games of their so-called 'superiors'.

My first step would be to gather up every overrated Italian opera singer (redundant, yes; pleonasm, yes; I know…) and dump the incompetent fuckers in the middle of the Indian Ocean, all the while letting those who have shown respect for their education and training indicate the way forward; hopefully engendering an improvement in the general performance of Italian 19th- and 20th-Century repertoire. Here's a golden quote from our Leonora, today: "Could you make a note of all the conductor's remarks so I don't have to remember them?". To this young lady I would just say 'F*** Off, but I no longer go anywhere near her. She also knows better than to approach me. Happily, we have an American second-cast Leonora who positively gobbles up her coachings and proceeds to grow with every passing day. I have to say that, over the years, I've grown to adore only the Americans and northern Europeans when it comes to opera; the Eyeties really are a waste of space: amateur, opinionated and substandard.

There's a saying in Britain that the only clear view one gets of an Italian is of his backside, and I wish that were true. That would mean, at least, that they were departing.

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