Worth reading: “Good Things About Bad Reviews”

As any Madison Opera fan knows, we received one review this past May for Faust that was pointedly unpleasant. Beyond the usual frustration that follows any less than positive review was genuine shock at the language and tone in this particular piece. Alas, we survived the storm intact and confident in our artistic product, with many good things having been said about the production elsewhere.

It seems the Wolf Trap Opera is presently facing this situation (one that is inevitable for us all) and so general director Kim Whitman has taken to her blog with a list: Good Things About Bad Reviews. It is worth a read, and here are a few points we can relate to especially well:

  • “Fans and supporters are galvanized!”
  • “It has the potential to free you for the next performance.”
  • “They get you one step closer to embracing the only critics you should have. (Yourself, and those in the business you trust.)”

Kim rightfully concludes that the dialogue reviews open up is essential; differences of opinion give us perspective and hopefully “keep us all from getting too complacent.” Kudos to her for seeing the light in the midst of the storm, and thanks to all of the Madison Opera fans who voiced their support for us back in May.

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