The naked truth

Letters to the Boston editor, April 2, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  March 31, 2010

I would like to register my protest against your “Naked Boston” issue’s needlessly titillating cover image of a nude, beheaded woman.

How disappointing that now, as print newspapers become increasingly wasteful and irrelevant, the Phoenix only sees fit to respond to its impending obsolescence with a cover that is nothing more than resigned pandering.

I hope that in future issues the Phoenix will lure readers with front-cover promises of meaningful investigative journalism, and will contain the paper’s gender politics (or lack thereof) to the adult classifieds.

Anne Gray Fischer
Jamaica Plain

Quality and quantity
I would like to thank Classical Music Editor Lloyd Schwartz for his recent attendance and review of our production of Ariadne auf Naxos. However, my colleagues and I, along with many of our patrons and supporters, are perplexed by your opening statement, “Boston Lyric Opera hasn’t had much success lately with either its home-grown or its second-hand products.” We have seen full or near sellouts of our past three productions (Don Giovanni, Carmen, and The Turn of the Screw), and have weathered the recent economic roller coaster quite well because of our fiscal stability. In fact, last year’s Impact Challenge Grant was extremely successful, which demonstrated the community’s support of and belief in Boston Lyric Opera’s product and vision.

In addition, we are one of, if not the only opera company in the country that expanded its 2009–2010 season with the introduction of our Opera Annex, a fourth production in a found space outside the traditional environment with lower ticket prices. (This season’s Opera Annex was The Turn of the Screw at the Park Plaza Castle in February.) Perhaps your statement was meant to reflect your personal opinion regarding particular aspects of recent productions, versus a judgment on the company overall, in which case, clarification would be truly appreciated.

Mia Howard
Boston Lyric Opera Marketing & Communications Manager

LLOYD SCHWARTZ RESPONDS Yes, you’re quite right — I had no intention of commenting on the fiscal side of the company or the financial success of any production. My opening remark was strictly expressing my evaluation of the artistic quality of recent Boston Lyric Opera productions, with which I’ve been consistently disappointed — in contrast to my pleasure in the superlative new, borrowed production of Ariadne auf Naxos, which I hope has equal success at the box office.

I look forward to more opera on this higher level.

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