6. Recommendation as submitted by Supervisor Antonovich: Direct the Chief Executive Officer to send a five-signature letter to Marc I. Stern, Chief Executive Officer of the LA Opera, and members of the Board of Directors requesting that the “Ring Festival LA” shift the focus from honoring composer Richard Wagner, to featuring other composers as headliners, to provide balance, historical perspective and a true sampling of operatic and musical talent. (09-1698)The full actual proposed resolution looks like this:
Click the picture for an enlargement or download the pdf here. Or read this:
MOTION BY SUPERVISOR MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICHI've blogged at length about the proposed opera festival in this article: Ring Festival L.A. - Wrong Festival L.A. in which I make a number of suggestions on how the Los Angeles Opera might better represent the various opinions about Wagner held in our community.
JULY 21, 2009
Los Angeles Opera’s upcoming Ring Festival LA, which celebrates the work of composer Richard Wagner, a racist whose anti-Semitic writings were the inspiration for Hitler and the holocaust, is an affront to those who have suffered or have been impacted by the horrors of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialistic Worker Party.
To provide balance, historical perspective and a true sampling of operatic and musical talent, the LA Opera should reevaluate and rearrange the festival’s programming to delete the focus on Wagner and incorporate other composers as headliners including Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Schubert, Schumann, Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn and others.
I, THEREFORE, MOVE, that the Board of Supervisors direct the County’s Chief Executive Officer to send a five-signature letter to the Marc I. Stern, Chief Executive Officer of the LA Opera and members of the Board of Directors requesting that the Festival shift the focus from honoring Wagner to featuring other composers as headliners.
I do not think Supevisor Antonovich's suggestion to replace Wagner with other composers is such a good idea. I do think that formally asking the opera company to consider these issues is an excellent idea.
My best idea in that blog post was that the Opera should promote their Recovered Voices program during the festival when visiting Ringnuts might hear operas suppressed by the Nazis.
My wildest idea was to create a fringe festival - celebrating not some dislikable dead German guy, but the creative arts right here in Los Angeles. I wanted to call the fringe festival Wrong Festival L.A. If such a thing actually happened I'd be the first to suggest that they find a better, more positive name.
Carie Delmar, a writer and opera critic, has posted an article (here at Opera Online) about why a Wagner festival is not a good idea for Los Angeles. (I cannot get her article to format properly in any browser, so I just select all the text and copy it to another program for reading.) That article seems to suggest where Mike Antonovich might have gotten his list of alternate composers.
And you might want to contact the Supevisors and tell them that it would be okay for them to write to the Los Angeles Opera with the suggestion that other viewpoints need to be heard during any Los Angeles Wagner festival.
GLORIA MOLINA: firstname.lastname@example.org
MARK RIDLEY-THOMAS MarkRidley-Thomas@bos.lacounty.gov
ZEV YAROSLAVSKY email@example.com
DON KNABE firstname.lastname@example.org (his chief-of-staff)
MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH email@example.com
POSTSCRIPT: Wanna find out what I wrote after this resolution failed at the July 21 Supervisors meeting? Read Wagner With An Asterisk.
Ring Tags: Ring Festival LA. . . LA Opera. . . Mike Antonovich. . . Richard Wagner