Saturday, 11 September 2010
The Diplomacy of Mmmmmm...(the full version*) (and now another ** to check up on) (and a final *** to read)
As Tony Harrison pointed out, the Vs of life are many and varied and can quite often be at their most heated between bedfellows, or in this instance between the ROH and their independent numero uno blogger. Anyone who has read Intermezzo's blog will know that it's written by someone who a) Knows what they're talking about and b) Cares passionately about the opera and classical music world. You may agree with what's written on there, or you may not. What can't be denied is that it acts as an invaluable advertisement for the opera / classical music scene in London and other stops around the UK, and the continent, and does so in a way that's accessible to the casual, and the not so casual visitor alike.
While I appreciate that the ROH are well within their legal rights to enforce copyright control over the images they produce / commission in this particular case I feel the letter of the law has been adhered to far too strictly. The whole idea of being a performing arts company is to show off exactly what it is you're famed for and if your message is spread should be the overriding factor rather than how it is spread. In a way it would have been far more worrying for the ROH if Intermezzo hadn't taken the time to share her experiences of performances at Covent Garden, but had instead blogged about the benefits of saving grass cuttings to use as biodegradable fake moustaches.
Having chosen to approach the situation in the way that they did has obviously backfired, but hopefully a greater awareness will now exist at Covent Garden about the potential power for good (feeling like Spiderman as I'm writing this) the Internet can bring them if the whole company can embrace the nuances of the net and appreciate the symbiotic nature of today's new media. It would be a great shame if a groovy way out can't be found out of the situation as in Intermezzo the ROH have a uniquely placed, and immensely popular blogger, who converts many souls to the religion of opera and the ROH. It's time for the messenger of love and tranquillity to do his thing...
Or at least that's what my inner hippy thinks. Thankfully it looks as though the Pipes of Peace are in the process of being blown and an end may be in sight to Mezzogate over the coming days.
*Call me sloppy, lazy, and unprofessional or just cursed by an evil Gremlin called Janice but the earlier version wasn't my intended post.
**The Love Gods of Opera have now done their thing with Intermezzo having official access to the ROH's press images and Wagner, Verdi and the boys breathing a collective sigh of relief.
***I'm not adding another asterik to this post.