Education and Funding Are the Solutions for Arts Appreciation
June 17, 2007
writes: “Regarding making opera (or any performing art) connect: I don't think
it would take more opera houses, more orchestras, etc. I think it takes
supporting the companies already fighting for their lives in a way that allows
them the freedom to get far enough outside their usual ways of working (that
matter how much you dress up or dress down classical music, the basic offering
isn’t changed that greatly. And in
reality, it is probably not going to be significantly changed through the
various forms of digital mediation we will have at hand for the foreseeable
know that it is fun and stimulating for the cognoscenti (including myself) to
toy with ideas suggested by postmodern theory and new technologies, but the
effects of this sort of toying-around will not really solve the problems.
The vastly more serious and long-term approaches of public funding and
music education will. Other
countries have shown this works and we must change too.
To state it hyperbolically, we can’t live off of Finish talent and
education forever. Esa-Peka in LA,
Osmo Vanska in Minneapolis, Magnus Lindberg at Chamber Music at Lincoln Center,
Kaija Saariaho at the Santa Fe Opera, and so on.
We are being put to shame.
also wonder if the problems of getting the public to “connect” with
classical music aren’t being exaggerated in this discussion, and in a
self-serving manner. People are
stylizing problems to fit their pet interests. We
enjoy our gizmos and hip pomo theories and then try to universalize them as
solutions in ways that are not especially useful.
Sober sociological, political, economic and pedagogical observation of
countries that have solved these problems is a more rational approach – even
if less fun and hip.
do tens of thousands of people show up to see the Met perform opera in
is one other observation about
will be difficult to change the thinking among the “luminaries” here and
elsewhere, because they have a vested interest in maintaining an absurd and
isolated American status quo that has afforded them a modicum of status and