Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stupid Reviewer Comments

Amazon reviews can be the source of thoughtful insights. If undecided about purchasing a particular recording, I will often consult the customer reviews. Frequently I find the negative reviews, if not helpful, at least infinitely entertaining.  

Usually they tell us a lot more about the reviewer than about the music. What they sometimes tell us is that the reviewer is kind of stupid. 

This type of comment is one of the reasons I started a blog! Here are some of my recent favorites:

I am not a particular fan of Dorothea Röschmann, who nevertheless gets a lot of plum jobs in opera and choral works nowadays. (Brahms Requiem)
Lucky for her he's not her manager!

Zerbinetta…is not a playful charming bouncing dancer, but rather an experienced corpulent middle-aged courtesan, bawdy and vulgar…Bacchus…looks like a common man speaking to a drunk woman. (Zurich Ariadne)
 Hmmm. Sounds like a personal issue to me.

There is exactly zero background scenery, or atmosphere, throughout the whole opera. (Minghella Butterfly)

That’s YOUR opinion. I noticed some scenery, and a LOT of atmosphere.

This is not the Messiah that we grew up with…One word sums it up - blasphemy! (Guth Messiah)

Did you even LOOK at the cover before you bought it?

Would anyone in their right mind ever revive this production? (Decker Traviata)
Ummm, ya! You ever heard of the Metropolitan Opera?

The Dada movement, and ever since, it's been about desecrating, destroying, stripping down, reassembling. Meanwhile, these Europeans will fret about 'authentic' instrumentation, while they're reimagining Carmen as a gas station attendant. (Minghella Butterfly again)

Seriously! This was a review of Madama Butterfly!

No woman I know would attend a party in men's clothes, so this was just not believable. (Decker Traviata again)
I have one thing to say: symbolism.

Fleming was somewhat plump, but gorgeous just the same. (Glyndebourne Nozze)
Nice. And what does this have to do with the performance, exactly?

If you want a Eurotrash production that desecrates a Strauss operatic masterpiece then this is the DVD for you. (Zurich Ariadne again)
Sarcasm can be SO unattractive.

Do you have some favorites?


  1. Those are fantastic. Also, I know women who might attend a party in men's clothes - so that one commenter clearly does not get out enough!

    My favorite that I remember seeing on Amazon ages ago was about the Guth/Salzburg Nozze and the commenter said basically (I paraphrase) "the Countess sounds like Susanna and Susanna sounds like the Countess! They did the casting wrong!" Erm, no, I really think they got it kind of right . . .

  2. Ha! Entertaining indeed. I second @earwormopera's remark re: the Traviata commenter complaining about the chorus partially en travesti. I'll have to start compiling such, er, masterpieces of irrelevance and bile. Currently my only just-for-chuckles collection is of reviewers veering into wild extended metaphors and swoony adjectives over Jonas Kaufmann.

  3. Hi Earworm and Lucy! I am glad you liked these.

    LOL RE: women in drag. Really! What rock do these people live under? (plus, I've known a few men who might don a red dress for a special occasion!)

    I think what gets me the most are pompous proclamations from people who clearly have no clue.

  4. The best "comment" on Regie productions is when Merlin comes in dressed as a ranting investment banker's wife in the Salzburg "King Arthur". I've met that woman... often!


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