Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A world elsewhere

I wanted to write something more cheerful, and this seems like the moment since Blogger is getting more difficult to deal with every time.  This is from Norman Lebrecht's contentious, wildly opinionated Who Killed Classical Music? the very title of which assumes that it's dead:

That Pavarotti loyalists should have felt the need to smear Domingo was proof itself of the Spaniard's potency.  Unable to malign him vocally, the Pavarotti camp attacked the weak spot in every artist's make-up -- his age.  A whispering campaign alleged that Domingo had been born before his admitted birth date, 1941, and was probably older than Pavarotti and closer to the final curtain.  A fake date of 1934 crept into at least one standard music dictionary.  Domingo, distressed by the aspersions, produced an authenticated copy of his birth certificate from the registry office in Madrid, but failed to quell the rumour-mongering.  (page 270)

So you start a rumor, the object of the rumor produces documentation to show it is baseless, and then you refuse to accept the documentation.  Lebrecht's book was published in 1996, which means that Jerome Corsi is a big fat plagiarist.  Now I have to wonder what other political phenomena originated in the weird and wonderful world of opera.  Were Fafner and Fasolt the models for the Koch brothers, ready to kill for their horde of gold but using it for no useful purpose?  Is Tosca's leap from the parapet inspiring the budget quagmire?  Did Bill Clinton base his career on the Duke of Mantua?  Puts it all in perspective, doesn't it?      



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