Dumbing Down Terracini

January 13, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, MUSIC, Opera, THEATRE, Ulalume | 0 Comments |

Sydney Opera House (photo by Diliff)

Lyndon Terracini

Lyndon Terracini

Every artist has occasion to groan about critics.  Often it can amount to, in Verdi’s phrase, ‘stupid criticism, even stupider praise’, or argumentum ad hominem.  As Peter Craven observed in last weekend’s The Australian, much online content falls into these categories but in the current context, the artistic director of Opera Australia has taken the bait and been hooked like a bullfrog.  Diana Simmonds reports on her site Stage Noise that she was informed:

     “In response to some of your recent writing about the company, Lyndon [Terracini] asked that you be removed from the media list.”
So what was Simmonds’ offense?  She expressed some pungent views about the OA
programme, implying ‘playing safe’ and a ‘dumbing down’ (our clauses).  Whether you agree,
disagree, or agree and applaud, is, surely, nothing to the point.  Freezing out a critic (apart from
 being tactically unwise) is not legitimate; it is churlish and a poor reflection on an otherwise
intelligent and accomplished man.  It is particularly unfortunate in the wake of the grotesque
and contemptible overreach by islamo-fascists regarding robust criticism by Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and writers in Paris.
When under attack, particularly about the digital ether, best to recall the dictum: “Never apologise; never explain.”


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