And our caro signor Alex Ross, one of Opera Chic's first readers and dearest friend, agrees with the anti-Wiener Philharmoniker stance of Newsday (the paper goes so far as to boycott -- huh, OK, w-evs -- the effectively all-male orchestra).
Now, it's certainly funny that in the year 5767 (aka 2007 for various infidels) a bunch of silly-looking middle-aged Austrian dorks is still against letting girls play with them (literally), because they have too much fun singing old yodel in their locker room and don't want to build for-her restrooms in their underground social club facilities and on their beloved tree houses. And they like to tell dirty jokes and stuff like that.
But then, let dorks be dorks if they like it so -- their unique sound is impossibly beautiful, and even if it's clear that they're giving up the chance of hiring so many great female musicians, it's also true that the VPO sound is exactly that sound -- an oldskool sound of a lost era that manages to survive into the 21st Century. It is certainly not the sound of politically correctness, of equal opportunities and of sensitivity-trained musicians. Music -- well, classical music at least -- is not a democracy. And invoking the need for "a dynamic cultural organization", nevermind the sound they make, like Newsday does? Pointing out that the Weeners "fetishize(s) sound at the expense of spirit"? We're opening the proverbial can of worms, guys.
Opera Chic doesn't really know about the "spirit" of Oswald Kabasta -- tho she knows that the sublime conductor of the German repertoire, a man whose Bruckner is so devastating that he will change your entire outlook on the composer, was also a enthusiastic Nazi supporter who signed all his post-1933 letters with a "Heil Hitler" (and, we like to imagine, a smiley face too).
Opera Chic also has doubts about the "spirit" of Gino Marinuzzi, very possibly the greatest conductor of all -- at least that what Richard Strauss thought, he considered Marinuzzi to be better than Von Bulow -- and Maestro Marinuzzi was just SO comfy and toasty in Mussolini's Italy.
So many examples -- we've been recently listening to a preternaturally beautiful concert of religious music --- a truly transcendent moment -- conducted by a world-famous conductor who -- we hear -- is also one of the world's most dedicated brothelgoers.
We'd like to keep our Kabasta records and our Marinuzzi (so terribly few) cds and we generally like to listen to the beautiful music of awful human beings (except Wagner -- Opera Chic follows her dear Uncle Normy -- aka Norman Lebrecht -- boycott of the Bayreuth Gang -- we all have our pet peeves don't we).
So let the Vienna dorks be dorks -- you know, they're also the ones who managed to trick the famously greedy conductors into accepting a nominal, laughable fee -- 2,000 euros, barely enough for one night in a Sacher Hotel suite plus minibar and tips -- for the honor of conducting the biggest, dorkiest, most happily misogynistic boys club in the history of classical music.