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In following the Licitra story, I came across an interview with San Francisco Opera Music Director, Nicola Luisotti.

The interview was in Opera News and was written by Courtney Smith. You can check out Courtney's blog here. http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/

There was a particular statement that Luisotti made that impressed me--because I believe it to be true.

"I'm only apprehensive towards people who put themselves in front of our great works of art. Let me think of a good example. Okay, let's pretend I take you to the Musée du Louvre to see Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. When we get there, I put myself directly in front of the artwork, blocking it from your view, and I start explaining the painting to you like this — 'Behind me, there's da Vinci's Mona Lisa. In the background there's a bridge leading to the mountains. She has her hands folded like this, and she's smiling in a peculiar way, just like this.' And you say to me, 'Get out of the way, so that I can see the painting for myself!' But I refuse to move. Because I want you only to look at me. Because I feel that I merit all of your attention, instead of Leonardo da Vinci, who is really the great artist of this work.

"Often — and we're not just talking about the directors, actors, conductors or singers — people put themselves in front of their respective works of art. I believe that the artist has an obligation to stand side by side with art, and not to impose himself onto it. I believe that all of us have a responsibility to serve the art. And yes, it's possible to do that even for the modern works. I'm not against modern works — not at all. I'm against scandal. I detest those who make a scandal in order to make a spectacle of themselves, or those who use works of art for the sake of publicity. This I can't support."

Those who would be most masterful, serve.

I know we went over this with The Tokyo Quartet but Luisotti communicated it so beautifully I thought it warranted sharing.

Here's a link to the entire article. http://www.operanews.com/Opera_News_Magazine/2011/7/Features/Direct_Expression.html

Quick clip of Luisotti after a performance.

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