City Opera and American Culture

For all of the dearly departed New York City Opera’s contributions to American culture, the 30 or so new operas it presented were never really among them. Seen Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Most Important Man” or Thea Musgrave’s “The Voice of Ariadne” lately? Neither have I.

– Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, June 16, 2014

Does it not seem odd to dismiss 30 operas not just without having seen them – but because you haven’t seen them?

Given the problem of the second performance that I have written about more than once on this blog, the number of performances of a piece should not be taken as the measure of that piece’s worth – it’s not that there is no relationship, it’s just not a reliable yardstick.