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The Whole Truth

August 21, 1994

Congratulations, Martin Bernheimer, for the first time I agree with you ("Monster Concert Afterthoughts," Aug. 7).

You were too kind to Tibor Rudas, the promoter. Rudas disappointed my husband and me greatly by locating his Luciano Pavarotti one-night performance on Oct. 22, 1992 at the San Diego Sports Arena. The location seemed "iffy" but Pavarotti was a sure thing, so we went. The sound was horrible and expensive tickets placed us well to his side and above his left cheek.

This year, when we found out the "Three Tenors" were coming to L.A., we had mixed emotions: Dodger Stadium? Tickets that ran to $1,000! Uh oh! Rudas was at it again!

Well, we went. Who said "There's a sucker born every minute!"? Rudas' mentor, P.T. Barnum, perhaps?

And what did the $300 tickets get us besides a repeat lesson of 1992? Armed with powerful binoculars . . . we got a great view of Zubin Mehta's rear end. No tenor could be seen around it. And Mehta is not fat, nor was the staging brilliant.

The giant TV was not in sight, hidden from view by the giant jungle, sans volcano. And by now curiosity might get you to wonder, where did they put those lucky $300 per ticket folks? We were seated slightly inside the foul line pole on the south side in spite of tickets marked field .

We arrived at 9 p.m. thanks to locked traffic and some diplomat who literally closed down the freeway ahead of us for security.

After Pavarotti's "Ave Maria" ricocheted all over, we did what few dared . . . we moved!

Now in one of the many empty seats in our designated area, which was carefully guarded against "upgrades," we sat behind home plate but in direct view of the tiny tenors in the great beyond. Due to the first tier overhang, we had to bend over to see them on the giant TV. Meanwhile, our twentysomething sons loved the performance from their $15 seats in the sky. "The TV was great!" they commented.

Only sentiment made the trek from south Orange County worth it. If Rudas, or anyone else, ever offers an event with such a lure as the "Three Tenors" again in a sports facility, we will say with peace of mind, "Sorry, been there, done that!"


Dana Point


Poor Martin Bernheimer seems to be suffering the effects of giving an honest review to a number of popular local concerts. The problem is that the "Three Tenors" and Van Cliburn events don't belong in one of the newly reformatted Calendar sections of theater, performing arts, art, pop music, jazz or Las Vegas. There needs to be another section for Mass Entertainment (ME), which would include Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, one-name stars (Madonna, Roseanne), Andy Warhol paintings, Woodstock revivals and the O.J. Simpson trial.

No normal human being could possibly cover these events, so I propose (for a modest fee) writing a computer program called "Love Me" which reads in information about the event (performers, date, attendance, etc.) and generates glowing reviews suitable for "Entertainment Tonight" and its clones. Every review would be rated 11 or above on a scale of 1 to 10.

"Love Me" would save Times critics from massive traffic jams and poor seats since no one would ever need to attend a ME concert. They could then devote themselves to covering the events that the remaining 2% of readers really care about. Everyone will be happy.


Long Beach


Well, bless my boots. I'm sorry Martin Bernheimer sees something corny in the world's three great tenors getting up and singing something corny.

Most of the rest of us can't carry a tune, so if we're wiping our eyes at hearing Messrs. Domingo, Carreras and Pavarotti, then it probably means there's something in our DNA that believes in tenors.




I paid heed to Martin Bernheimer's commentary about the "Three Tenors" and decided there was nothing to lose by giving a listen to a John McCormack CD of "Songs of My Heart," recorded between 1930 and 1941. McCormack's musical fare--Irish songs and old favorites--paralleled the mega concert, except, in lieu of the Philharmonic, he was accompanied by Gerald Moore and Edwin Schneider, pianists.

The artistry contained in these 60-year-old recordings was a welcome relief from the ballyhooed musical bombast of the millennia seen and heard on the KCET fund-raiser. Thank you, Martin, you've got the right stuff.


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