I saw the great performance at LA Opera on Saturday afternoon, November 26th, of Romeo and Juliet. Nino Machaizde and Vittorio Grigolo were a wonderful pair of lovers, with an intense showing of their dramatic and vocal powers. Their final scene was riveting; their emotional connection was overwhelming.
However, what took place after the opera certainly left a bad taste in my mouth. Requiring opera fans to purchase Machaizde and Grigolo’s albums in order to get an autograph was crass and insulting, ( nothing in the publicity about the signing mentioned this prerequisite.)
Of course, opera companies and particularly singers need the revenue of album sales but to refuse to meet the fans because they haven’t bought your albums is not only unfair but smacks of greed. I don’t remember in all my years of opera going when I was not allowed a short visit to say congratulations or to get an autograph after a thrilling opera performance. Also, I don’t think opera fans at the Met or in Europe would accept this snub.
Since Placido Domingo is the Artistic Director of the LA Opera Company,I hold him responsible for the insult. After all, Domingo is a great artist and has deservedly received plenty of adulation from his fans over the years, that’s the reason I find it so upsetting that he would allow this.
By the way, we had to wait over half an hour for Machaizde and Grigolo to come out which was certainly understandable considering what they had given of themselves in the performance. I’m sure many people who wanted an autograph would not have hung around for that time but the diehard fans would. I doubt if there would have been more than a handful that would have waited. I am a big Grigolo fan, and have his albums and copies of four of his opera performances but when I listened to one of them last evening, my feelings for his work changed. I seemed to have lost some of the good will and respect for him as a person. I hope these qualities can be restored and also I hope that no opera fan will have to face such a demeaning situation again.