Sports and Music

I have a friend who works at the Democrat & Chronicle and she has this idea that classical music ought to be covered more like sports events. Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, apparently agrees. In this video, he likens the backstage segments of the Met’s HD simulcasts to a locker room visit during half time at the Super Bowl.

I think it should go farther. If a singer disappoints, I want a press conference afterwards: “You were clearly off your game tonight. What happened?” And if someone jumps around a stage for three and a half hours straight, it’s time to ask about doping (although that’s already come up).

To help encourage this kind of coverage, musicians would benefit from some competition. Who needs another duets album? Make it a cutting contest! Wouldn’t you have paid to hear some up-and-comer take on stride piano great Art Tatum? The Montreal Jazz Festival is doing its part, having booked Hank Jones and Brad Mehldau together (although I’m sure they won’t be cutting in on each other) and also what it bills as the “Super Bowl of Swing,” a battle of the bands featuring the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey orchestras.

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