Tech Review Of The Foundling Unfair to Production
I am one of the orchestra players for The Foundling, and I am quite shocked at the review given by Jonathan Richmond PhD '91 ["Student-written Foundling yearns for editing," Feb. 4]. The first thing I disagree with is his opening statement, "It's rarely a good idea to allow writers to direct their own work." I happen to very much disagree, not only as a musician, but as someone who listens to a great variety of music. If I were to ever compose music, I would insist that I conduct, not some conductor who guides the players through the notes, especially since it would be my dream on paper.
The next thing that really upset me was the tone of the reviewer. I do not know the reviewer, and this is certainly not enough to make a proper judgment of his character, but I am shocked at the way he is so rude in his review. Even if I was not a musician, I would still love the music. Maybe it is that musical part of me that likes the music, but you don't have to be a musician to appreciate good music.
Also, the comment "His direction of the orchestra is also limp" is totally uncalled for. I think my response to this comment would be, "Your review of The Foundling is also limp." (Just a side note: I mention again that this letter is responding to this person's review, not to the person)
The reviewer has failed to truly review the music. The production Saturday night went very well, and the crowd really liked it. Repeat: Really liked it. Not any sort of "flop," as this reviewer would have you believe. Also, they did not seem to think it was too long. Apparently this reviewer has never been to an opera, a concert, or something that could possibly take up the better part of an evening. There are in fact 20 songs in this production. Even if every song was only three minutes long, that would require at least an hour just for singing. There is also a large amount of dialogue in this play, most of which is quite funny. This is somewhat of a two-faced play, because it has very good music and still has good humor along the sidelines.
Regarding the music again, most people who listen to a lot of music know that most pieces of music that would appear in an opera or concert are longer than three minutes each. In fact, to have a song of 10 minutes or more is not surprising. However, for someone who really loves this kind of music, 10 minutes may not be long enough. I am one of these people, and to me, there should be more of what I hear in The Foundling. It is really good music. The fact is that not everyone will like it. However, if you really love music, such as Chopin, Mozart, Debussy, Gershwin and even Andrew Lloyd Webber, then you should enjoy the music in The Foundling. One more point. This is a comedy. It is supposed to be funny. In fact, there is a lot of good humor in this production. You are not there to just listen to the story, but to enjoy a few of laughs (for me it was a lot) along the way.
Throughout the play, there are many songs that I do not play in, so I also get to listen and enjoy. And even though I have heard the entire play twice, I will still enjoy hearing it again. I hope that the review did not mislead people too much, because The Foundling is a very good production, and it is facing the problem that two people will never give the same review, regardless of the quality of the production.
Jeffrey S. Poore '97