A member of a venerable opera forum put forward what he considers to be a conundrum posed by the equally venerable MSM classical music critic Martin Bernheimer. To make our response to what this member wrote part of the S&F record, we post below without further comment what this member wrote and our response to same.
A few years ago [MSM music critic] Martin [Bernheimer] noted ... that it has been 30(?) years since an opera figure had appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. Why has opera lost its status as news? [...] My first thought was that American managers had not taken the course of their European colleagues and adopted a more adventurous course for staging along with expanding the repertory. By being boring, the charitable contributions, critical to America's artistic lifeblood, were shrinking. A financial slump was clearly happening with symphony orchestras and major opera companies cutting back. But, in a larger sense, it doesn't seem entirely to be related to donors. With the loss of so many local music critics around the US and so little media covering classical music is America's interest in "cultural" in the larger sense in a gradual decline? [...] Is there a solution for the Bernheimer Conundrum?To which we responded:
America's interest in matters "cultural" (meaning, of course, "high cultural" as opposed to "pop cultural") in "gradual decline"(!)? Precipitous decline, you mean: the snowballing toxic fallout from the equally toxic and imbecile equalitarian ideology of the Sixties. The postmodern answer to that circumstance has been an ever increasing surrender by the MSM "smart set" to those imbecile equalitarian notions and the resulting championing of the even more imbecile notion that high culture ought to embrace popular culture and erase the distinctions between it and high culture by making pop culture an integral part of high culture thereby making high culture (and you should forgive the contemptible locution) "more relevant". Is there a "solution" to this noxious trend? Only one I can think of that has any realistic chance of actually being effective: simply wait until the current postmodern lunacy dies of its own imbecility. The wait may be a relatively long one but, thanks to our present digital age, not nearly as long as such waits used to be.