Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

The Dawn Breaks

September 27, 2009


You can always count on the L.A. Times to get around to some actual arts reporting sooner or later. This weekend brings us this pearl from Mark Swed,

"Gustavo Dudamel-- a.k.a. GD and the Dude -- doesn’t hit town until Wednesay, but the Los Angeles Philharmonic has certainly gone into high promotional gear for its new music director, and the media is taking the bait big time. Though well aware of the risk of overexposure and too-high expectations, we at the L.A. Times are hardly blasé as we examine the Dudamel phenomenon."

Gee, it only took how many years to get around to abandoning their blasé attitude toward Dudamel? While Swed goes on to complain about some of the marketing efforts of the L.A. Phil with regards to Dudamel including a video game and iPod app, he fails to gain any insight into the Times’ and his own participation in this “hoopla” and “nonsense.” He has been all too willing to throw laurels at Dudamel’s feet for performances that have been mediocre just as often as they have been good. But now he warns of the "danger" of putting too much pressure on the new maestro through an abundance of hype and unrealistic expectations. Well physician, heal thyself. It's great Swed is finally taking a serious look at the effect the hype around Dudamel could have on him and the L.A Philharmonic. Here's hoping he can examine some of his own role in creating some of this problematic hype to begin with.

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