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The reason for the boos

February 22, 2009

In your preview on the "Ring" cycle ["Ring Master" by Diane Haithman, Feb. 15], when speaking of audience reaction to Achim Freyer's B-minor Mass presentation in 2002, Placido Domingo is quoted, "Perhaps some audience members thought it was eccentric to see a sacred oratorio in an opera house." Wow, Mr. then-Artistic Director, don't you people ever listen to your constituents?

Not one objection I saw concerned anything of a religious/secular nature. We thought having mimes peer out from behind a graffiti-splashed scrim boring, irrelevant and interminable. Rather than "exciting," as Mr. Domingo called it, I found Freyer's staging distracting and finally a failed work.

Yes, Mr. Freyer did much better subsequently with the "Damnation of Faust," and we acknowledge the dedication to art of both men. However, for them to discount and ignore the dedication of the audience is a mistake. We are participants whether they wish to admit it or not. And they fail to acknowledge that fact at their financial peril.

Roger Walton

North Hills

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