"Happy are they that hear their detractions and can put them to mending," says Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. Yes, but sometimes we must do our own detracting.
Yesterday, with some misgivings, I posted my recent Opera News review of the current Tosca from the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Why the misgivings? Because when I re-read the text in my print copy of the magazine, I came across a sentence that set my teeth on edge. No, you don't have to guess. Here it is: "But what matters most [about the production] is [Jonathan] Kent's microscopic attention to verbal, musical and theatrical nuance, mirrored throughout in Antonio Pappano's skill in fusing Puccini's Technicolor atmospherics and sharp narrative close-ups into a magisterial cinematic flow."
I stand by the judgment but cringe not to have found a better way to express it. What ought I to have written instead? Perhaps this: "But what matters most [about the production] is Kent's microscopic attention to verbal, musical and theatrical nuance. To all this, the conductor Antonio Pappano applies his Midas touch, fusing Puccini's Technicolor atmospherics and sharp narrative close-ups in a seamless cinematic flow."
In the Collected Reviews of Matthew Gurewitsch, a volume this earth may never see, the offending passage will be replaced--if not by today's version by a third and (I hope) better one.