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MISSED THE BOAT FUDDY-DUDDY (article first published : 2004-10-27)

Dear artSMart – I would be grateful if you would carry my letter in response to Billy Suter’s review in The Mercury and invite anyone interested to continue the debate:

As the Producer and co-presenter of Bach to Barbra currently playing at the Catalina Theatre on Wilsons Wharf, I would like to take this opportunity to reply to your crit of the show in Friday’s Mercury Newspaper. In it, you managed to attack not only the show’s leading lady, but just about every aspect of this musical review you could possibly cram into a short column space. All that is, except the music itself!

Johann Sebastian Bach, Puccini, Catalani, Delibes etc. obviously do not rate a mention in your column Mr. Suter, as unfortunately for all concerned you think them “dreary”.

I invite you to reply with what criteria you are bonefide employed as an arts and theatre critic? As you have no prior history or background in either theatre or music, just what exactly do you think qualifies you to be an Arts Critic and to give ratings on shows about which musically at any rate, you have no knowledge or understanding. Even to be able to play Vanessa Mae's fiendishly difficult Bach interpretations is a feat in itself - something that was completely lost on you in more ways than one.

I wonder if you and your colleagues who write with seemingly such careless abandon damning a show such as ours, know or even care, how many thousands of hours go into preparing and learning the music, rehearsing, practising and finally presenting the product. With the Arts in South Africa, and Classical Music in particular struggling world wide for its very existance, at least do your homework when coming to review a show like ours, and be aware that classical/crossover is hitting the record stores and concert venues Big Time in the rest of the world, and is beginning to make its presence felt here in South Africa, despite your out of date and ill informed views!

Yours sincerely Nuts 4 Music




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