Thursday, January 25, 2007

Reviewing can Still be an Art Form

As I probably made clear by paying more attention to Jim Webb's response than to the State of the Union address itself, I like texts that do not pull their punches. I particularly appreciate when this is done well in reviewing the performing arts, the "turf" on which I first developed whatever talents I now have. Like any newspaper reporter I knew that accounting for the event was more important than dishing out opinion, meaning that opinion had to held off for any column space that remained after the accounting was completed. Given those constraints, the real skill lay in hitting on the mot juste to capture the opinion. This is all prelude to my saying that Rupert Christiansen did just that in accounting for one of the key soloists in the Royal Opera production of Carmen:

Liping Zhang made pretty noises in Micaëla's Act 3 aria, but Heaven knows what consonant-free language she was using.

I cannot remember the last time I read a review with such a belly-laugh reaction!

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