The METs Ring Cycle: you are free to say what you like - as long as it's nice?

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday, 1 May 2012 | 8:25:00 pm

Alberich may not be the  only 
one being bullied by the "Gods"
The English speaking opera houses have often had a strained relationship with opera bloggers - both independent and now it would seem professional bloggers. Last year the MET demanded that Brad Wilber take down his "MET Futures" blog, which had, for around fifteen years, published what were often very reliable rumours on future MET productions not yet officially announced (For more details on this, see this article over at: Observer.Com). Prior to that, the owner of the long established London based blog "Intermezzo" had received a legal notice from the ROH telling her to remove photographs of their productions - an intervention so bungled by the ROH that it lead to coverage in the UK's "broadsheets" (See this Guardian article for more details). One would assume from the negative publicity generated by these two events alone, both opera houses would have have learnt their lesson, be a bit more sensitive and even attempted to work with bloggers (as most, other houses, - with one or two exceptions -  do and who in turn receive what is ultimately free publicity) but alas this seems not to be the case.

Over at Parterre.com the somewhat legendary New York opera blogger, "La Cieca" is reporting (and as originally reported at the New York Times) that the MET have had a blog pulled at NY Metro radio station WQXR. This blog (by a professional critic in this instance - Olivia Giovetti) was, according to La Cieca:

"... in large part a rebuttal to Gelb’s interview with Anthony Tommasini, which in turn was transparently a response to the Alex Ross‘s harsh critique of Lepage’s production in The New Yorker" (The full post can be read here.).

It seems that the MET's own general manager, Peter Gelb had personally intervened with the management at WQXR.

Although the blog in question has now been removed,  Parterre Box has made it available as as a PDF which can be viewed here.