The Metropolitan Opera chief has banned his house magazine, Opera News, from reviewing any further performances at the Met. Peter Gelb’s fiat followed an editorial by Opera News editor, Brian Kellow (first reported here), which criticised the Met Ring and other policies.
Gelb is very quick to ban critical voices. He once persuaded the BBC to remove me from an interval presentation because he disagreed with something I had written about him (‘Banned from the Met’ became the title of a Chinese anthology of my essays and columns).
But banning the publication of the Metropolitan Opera Guild is another matter altogether. It indicates the kind of sensitivity usually reserved for artists and, in extreme cases, for lunatics. It is behaviour of such irregular order that even the over-friendly New York Times has seen fit to report it – as Page 1 news.
I am not sure what qualifies as the first sign of madness in clinical terms, but the second, in the arts professions, is starting to think that professional criticism is a personal onslaught that has to be crushed. Peter Gelb is losing touch with reality. The men in white coats will be waiting for him soon downstairs. Maybe he thinks they are there already.
FINAL OUTCOME here.