Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Future Warning to All Critics Who Want to Become Composers

"Composer Michael Nyman, who wrote the music for Jane Campion’s 1993 film The Piano and is a long-term collaborator with Peter Greenaway, is furious that the Royal Opera House has rebuffed his approaches to stage a work in Covent Garden — and he has threatened to withdraw his tax in protest. Writing about himself in the third person on Facebook, he comments: 'Michael Nyman has just been informed that the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, will never commission an opera and will therefore spend whatever remains of his creative life without a single note of any of his operas, written or unwritten, represented on the stage of any opera house in the UK, ever. Maybe I should withdraw my tax.' Nyman, whose operas include The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, now lives in Mexico City. He laments: 'They are continuing to pay for new work, but not my work. Maybe they remember when I was a music critic in 1971, there was a laughable production of Rigoletto, which my companion and I laughed at throughout, and John Higgins, arts editor of the Financial Times, complained about ‘two badly behaved people in the Spectator seats’. Enough to kill a career as a composer, I guess.' Over to the Royal Opera House: 'Michael Nyman came to ROH with the proposition for a major operatic piece. Having given serious thought to his suggestion, and listened again to his operatic music in depth, we have decided that for us his musical language is not what we want to pursue in our next commissions. This is not a dismissal of Michael Nyman as a composer in general, nor a statement about the quality of his music, as such things can, of course, not be discussed objectively. In the end, it is a question of taste.'" [Source]

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