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LETTER FROM STACEY ALMOND (article first published : 2004-11-1)

Dear Mr Pillay (courtesy of artSMart)

You might (or might not) be interested to know that I have worked as a critic myself. While living and working in Hong Kong as a Voice Professor at both the Hong Kong and Chinese Universities, I was employed for some time by both main newspapers to write about local and visiting singers and Opera performances.

I always took great care to write “constructive” rather than “destructive” criticism - aware that that it was only my viewpoint (albeit an informed one on the subject I was writing about) but also aware that I had a duty to give a balanced appraisal based on my knowledge of singing, to the public.

Why I took issue with Mr. Suter, is that quite simply I and others who have written before me on this point, don't feel that he is qualified to do this. That has nothing to do with "not being able to take criticism" as you suggest - but rather questioning the suitability of the critic's background to write about the subject he is employed to critique.

Mr B Suter has not to date, responded to anybody's question of what his qualifications are, to be employed in the job he does.

In the same vein, concerning your comments about my show: How can you trust the judgement of someone who, by their own admission, only saw 50% of the production?

Yours respectfully, Stacey Almond




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