Sunday, November 9, 2014

Unsung Heros

This week I decided to focus my attention back to the Met and look at a role in the opera house that is mostly unspoken about.  That is the chorus master of the Met, Donal Palumbo,  who started his tenure at the house in 2007.   Since he has become the chorus master he has raised the level of the chorus to that of the orchestra, arguably the best opera orchestra in the world.  The article speaks the Mr. Palumbo's tireless work ethic and how even with the standard rep he is still trying to find new nuances in the music for the chorus to bring out.  He is a master at finding the places to remove the legato for a greater emotional response or where to add it in.  He has also been fortunate that in the last few years he has been able to appoint 40 new members to the chorus due to retirement.  This has allowed for Mr. Palumbo to get a younger sound from his chorus.

While the majority of the article is about Mr. Palumbo's career and impact at the Met, it also shows the underbelly of what makes the Met's artistry.  We as an audience forget that when we attend an opera or orchestral performance that there is so much more that we are paying for then just the players and the conductor.  We are also paying for people like Mr. Palumbo who make the Met what it is and bring a level of artistry that is hard to rival.  Audiences have forgotten that when they pay for a newspaper, magazine, or a ticket to a show that there are other costs they have to pay for besides the main players.  If we don't have great people like Mr. Palumbo we loose the artistry and slowly we loose the standard of quality. 

Full article here

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