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November 11, 2005


Alex Ross

Steve, all well said. In the case of an artist of LHL's stature — or any artist, really — the reporting needs to meet a high standard, especially if you're implying that the artist's management is lying. I think you need something more than a "murmur of concern."


I don't know how many messages or e-mails were left for LHL and her London manager, but it would seem that there was at least an effort to contact them regarding these concerns. I'm not a journalist or professional critic, so I'm not familiar with the Code, but as a fan, I'm interested in issues (whether "private" or otherwise) that *directly* affects the public face of a performer. I don't care about Debbie Voigt's sex life, but I sure would like to know the details of her drastic weight loss because it is consequential to her career and artistry; similarly, LHL's cancellations have to be explained somehow. There are always fine lines and ambiguous benchmarks, and the slope is always slippery, but we're not talking here about the kind of latte Nicole Richie bought at the Starbucks yesterday. In the end, I would like to know what the deal is ... and legitimate "murmurs of concern," to this opera consumer, can be newsworthy too, if that's all that can be gathered.


Agreeing with your latest remarks, Steve; I'm another who found the original piece quite troubling.

Had there been solid, substantiated facts in the original piece, I'm frankly not sure where I would have felt a cross over the line to "invasive" reporting. As the article stands, though, the most pressing issue (to my mind, at least) is the employment of speculation at the expense of good journalism.

Alex Ross

Sieglinde, they did reach her North American manager, who denied that it was anything but a back injury. He said the same thing to us at the New Yorker when I mentioned her withdrawal from Dr. Atomic. I think this puts a high burden on the reporter to line some hard facts on the other side. Maybe these suspicions will prove well founded, but I really believe it's up to LHL to tell the story when she wants to, if she wants to, if there is a story.


I guess I don't know all the facts; then again, it's imperative for journalists to look elsewhere (other than the proverbial horse's mouth) for them, if it's an important story, and LHL is particularly important to all of us. The NYT article itself may not have met some people's standards, but the issue gets murky when 'privacy' has to be considered vis a vis newsworthiness (e.g. if a reporter actually comes across medical files indicating this or that). But I shouldn't say more about this, because I really don't know anything-- I can't even decide now if I love Elizabeth Futral or if I just really, really like her. But going back to LHL, all this talk persuaded me to get a ticket to her Carnegie Hall appearance with the Boston Symphony on the 28th of November ... expensive seat, ouch: I may have to cut down on either extra helpings of the Met Romeo or nutrition/booze. I need a sugar daddy big time. :)

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