In his discussion of the rising popularity of opera on DVD (a popularity which I, too, find myself enthusiastic about) Brian Micklethwait has coined a handy new word for opera fans: Wagnabsurdity, referring to the weird and pretentious ways in which producers stage Ring Cycle performances, for example, “scruffy librarians waving enormously long spears in the Boulez/Bayreuth Gotterdammerung.”
He adds this note, which strikes a chord with this more populist classical enthusiast:
I don’t want an ‘Internet Site’ where I can spend thousands of happy hours chatting about why the Levine New York Met Ring is better/worse than the Boulez Bayreuth Ring, and why the latest one from Germany is barking bonkers etc. etc.. I do not have these hours. More fundamentally, such hours would not be happy. I am not that fond of my fellow classical music enthusiasts. Mad, sad bastards the lot of them, as good as, as far as I’m concerned, and I bet that’s just how most of them feel about me.