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Boo!


This time, I will not write a review, it is not the right moment for such things. Even though In the Middle was so amazing, that the vigour in William Forsythe’s choreography seemed to be a protest itself. Even though Marina Minoiu and Francesca Velicu were extraordinary. All this was worth a review. But today I am not a critic. Today I am a spectator.

It was a rational “Boo!”. It was a political “Boo!”, but also an artistic one, at the end of a fabulous ballet evening.

I hereby express my dissatisfaction with the conductor Tiberiu Soare, who hindered three performances of opera and ballet, without living any consequence of his actions. Who drove thousands of spectators away from the Opera. “Boo!” is an interjection very often heard in important opera theatres all around the  world. The last time I heard it was in London, with a British accent, cried by some spectators who had not liked the Royal Opera House production of Enescu’s Œdipe.

If you accept exaggerated bravos at a mediocre performance, you can’t object to booing, wrote the British critic Andrew Clark in an article about the history of booing in opera (Opera, March 2015). Honestly, Tchaikovsky’s Suite Nr. 3 sounded very ordinary, the conductor did not stress anything intelligently, in order to make it rhyme with the ballet. This is the artistic part of the protest.

Then, it was a “Boo!” against transforming Bucharest National Opera into a communist countryside cultural centre, with unanimous, rhythmic applause and standing ovations. 26 years ago, people died precisely for the right not to give unanimous applause and ovations.

It is a “Boo!” against several things. It is a “Boo!” cried, over the years, to the actress Florina Cercel, who drove the director Andrei Șerban out of the National Theatre exactly as Tiberiu Soare did these days with Johan Kobborg, with Alina Cojocaru and with 16 other dancers. It is a “Boo!” against all the offences inflicted on the Romanian culture in the last 25 years. It is also a political “Boo!”, thrown into the face of the people in the government, who did nothing but speak, forgetting there are laws governing the incidents at BNO, in April.

It is a “Boo!” against the obscenity of this artistic mediocrity in Romania.

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