Mudcat Café message #2316751 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110427   Message #2316751
Posted By: Steve Shaw
15-Apr-08 - 06:43 PM
Thread Name: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
We have a fine tradition of classical music in this country. It is subsidised, and could not exist without it. Dave old chap, I have no axe to grind whatsoever when it comes to opera (silliest thing with clothes on, etc.), but the plain fact is that opera is exceptionally expensive to stage and if it were not subsidised it would not happen, never mind attract smaller audiences. I don't care for it much myself but I defend to the hilt its right to exist. Just think. Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner (fascist pig though he was), all down the pan.    We've had a great tradition of symphony orchestras too, including several superb ones under the Beeb's umbrella on top of the London-based ones and several regional orchestras of exceptional standard, notably the Halle and the Birmingham Symphony (and I'm not wishing to leave out the others). You can't have this without subsidy. There was reference to unsubsidised gigs by Show of Hands et al.   Mighty though they are, Show of Hands are two guys. Of course, there is an infrastructure behind 'em, but symphony orchestras have that too. Perhaps the critics here of classical music funding would like to see classical concerts with the cheapest seats at 200 so that we can watch Show of Hands for a fiver. Actually, I've seen Show of Hands four times (seen Eliza a couple of times too! :-) ) and I've been to a lot of symphony concerts too and I want to be able to keep going to both. Ruth's statement "and [I] feel that we are subsidising what is not only a minority artform, but one largely enjoyed by people who are already quite privileged" is not only inaccurate but also reeks somewhat of sour grapes.   Privileged in what way? So much that they damn well deserve to be fleeced rotten for going to a concert? I smell doom for most of our wonderful orchestras if this kind of opinion were to prevail.

Sue wrote, among other wise things, "Forget the stereotypes of classical music being the music of (a) the upper classes (b) musical snobs (c) so-called 'high status'or moneyed classes ... just LISTEN to it in all its huge, enthralling, intriguing, wonderful variety. Maybe there's some you don't like, but you're sure to find some you do." Fabulous. Couldn't agree more. And it's all in the Proms. You don't even have to watch the Last Night to find it either! Cheers, Sue!