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Placido & Friends

August 24, 1986

Martin Bernheimer's review of Placido Domingo bravura concert for earthquake victims represents very poor editorial judgment on Calendar's part ("Domingo & Friends in Concert," Aug. 14).

Why should an admittedly curmudgeon classical music purist review a concert that was, early-on, billed as a "pop/classical" evening of music to benefit earthquake victims in Mexico?

Why should he review at the Universal Amphitheatre, a venue that no one expects would please a classicist? Why review a benefit, which he knew involves at most a one-day rehearsal of what were difficult orchestral compositions that would have taxed the L.A. Philharmonic?

Performing artists are the lifeblood of charities in Los Angeles. Savaging them when they are at the mercy of a charity's limited rehearsal and production budget is really unfair to them and to the charity.

More important, it sends unfortunate messages to other performers who charities depend on: Perform in public at your peril; keep to the elitist atmosphere of a hotel ballroom at prices the community can't afford (and where reviewers do not go); and, stick to the type of song you are known for--taking no creative risks.

RICHARD M. WALDEN

President, Operation California,

Operation California sponsored "Domingo and Friends in Concert."

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