Booing at the ballet???
Posted 29 April 2002 - 07:43 AM
I also remember the boos that frequently greeted Watermill. I remember an early or mid-Eighties performance where Villella came out for the curtain call only to be greeted by a torrent of boos. Although I'm sure he was used to folks booing Watermill by then (I don't recall it getting booed in the mid-Seventies), I won't soon forget his crestfallen look of hurt and surprise, which he soon covered with a perfectly poised professional mien. Regardless of what one thought of Watermill (I rather liked it, but that's another kettle of worms), booing Eddie Villella at the NYS Theater is beyond unforgiveable.
Other than that, I figure someone someplace might've liked a particular show, and who am I to spoil their fun? There must've been people somewhere who actually enjoyed Heather Watt's virtues as a performer (whatever they might've been -- I lacked such fine powers of discernment). I wouldn't have wanted to rain on their parade. Besides, it's hard to boo when one is biting one's knuckles.
The most recent incident of really inappropriate booing I recall happend last fall at a performance of the Met's somewhat unconventional but rather brilliant production of Eugene Onegin (and I'm too lazy to look up the credits). After Onegin (Thomas Hampson, that night) kills Lensky, the orchestra goes immediately into that grand polonaise. Many be-wigged footmen emerge, some make off with Lensky's body, others change a very passive Onegin's clothes from his outdoorsy dueling outfit to formal eveningwear. I thought it was a very clever transition, representing his years of indolent wandering before encountering Tatiana and Gremin. Apparently it left some disgruntled member of the audience feeling short-changed out of the sight of the Met Opera Ballet in boots and ribbons stamping and kicking their way through a real polonaise, and as soon as the music ended, out came a very loud and prolonged "booo!" from somewhere up near the rafters. There was an embarassed murmer from the audience, and the show went on.
It was really beyond tacky.
I do wonder if opera audiences might be more prone to booing than ballet audiences. Thoughts, anyone?
Posted 29 April 2002 - 09:18 AM
Well, I liked it. But what do I know?
Posted 01 May 2002 - 08:07 AM
Posted 01 May 2002 - 05:52 PM
PS. I loved 'Red Giselle'.
Posted 21 April 2002 - 04:31 AM
Posted 02 May 2002 - 03:54 AM
Posted 29 April 2002 - 05:42 AM
I could never bring myself to Boo at my fellow performers, although I've witnessed performances that I really disagreed with. Usually if I don't like what I'm seeing, I cover my face with my program or close my eyes and listen to the music or take a nap. The worst I can bring myself to do is simply withhold my applause. The only time I was upset enough to Boo was not when I was in the audience but rather onstage. We had just finished performing a rather experimental Forsythe work in Holland somewhere. During the ovation there was a lot of commotion and a lot of booing. I felt compelled to boo right back and shake my fist at the angry patrons. The adrenaline rush was exilerating, even if my behavior was questionable.
Posted 01 May 2002 - 05:47 AM
Personally i enjoy the italian way. i think if it is understood on both sides - performer and spectator - that this is a dynamic, enjoyable ritual with a spark of good humour all around, then booing is acceptable...and i would say it adds a lot of passion to the discussion, which is only to be encouraged.;)
Posted 28 April 2002 - 08:28 PM
As for Franco Corelli - I shall ask a voice teacher/singer I know who used to study with Corelli about said incident. There is, of course, the famous one also in connection with Nilsson. Nilsson and Corelli had a kind of love-hate relationship. Nilsson said (to me) that being a tenor Corelli had "resonance boxes where his brains should be". In "Turandot" she was always mannerly towards OTHER tenors - when they ceased to hold a note (when singing together), so did she. But with Corelli it was a contest of lung capacity - which Nilsson usually won handily. Once Corelli complained to Rudolf Bing, then director of the Met Opera about this. Bing suggested that in the scene where Calaf has to kiss Turandot Corelli should give her a little nip. A few nights later Corelli and Nilsson were scheduled to sing "Tosca" together. Nilsson sent a note to the Met management saying that she was cancelling because "a mad dog bit me". Needless to say Bing had to do a lot of work to make the performance happen!
Posted 17 May 2002 - 02:04 PM
I also do not boo at ballets if I don't like them, I just do not clap.
Posted 21 April 2002 - 12:53 PM
For the record, I stand with Victoria in not doing anything if I didn't like it, which has on occasion gotten a "dear, you can clap after the performance response" from my neighbors in the audience!
Posted 02 May 2002 - 09:37 AM
The second scandal of the evening occurred when it was announced that the much reviled Anastasia Volochkova was being presented with the Benois de la Danse prize for the Best Female Performance (for her turn as Odette-Odile in Grigorovich's Swan Lake). The entire audience fell into a deafening silence and then again came the booing, the stomping, and screams of protest.
Aurelie Dupont (the co-winner of the dubious prize) was greeted by loud cheers, bravas, and very vigorous applause.
The other nominees were Kirov's Svetlana Zakharova and Natalia Sologub.
Posted 03 May 2002 - 07:09 AM
Posted 18 May 2002 - 07:55 AM
Posted 21 April 2002 - 05:34 PM
However, if a performance is truly dreadful, I certainly have voted with my feet (at a convenient interval, so as not to disturb other audience members who might actually be enjoying themselves). My feeling is that I've already had to pay for my ticket, why should I suffer further?
Ed's description of booing those responsible for a terrrible production reminds me of the hideous "Rigoletto" that Lyric Opera of Chicago did a couple of years ago. It was set in a men's club (!) and included, among other horrors, the rape of Gilda onstage -- surrounded by leering club members. We were there on opening night. Chicago audiences are generally tame, but when the production team had the nerve to step on stage at the end of the evening, the entire audience began to boo. Because WFMT-FM broadcasts Lyric opening nights live, thousands of listeners heard this reaction loud and clear.
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