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April, April

I was sorely tempted to post a spoof entry for April Fool's Day, yet was held back by the attendant risk. After all, when Leonard Slatkin posted a joke entry about what he planned to do about performance practice on his blog some months ago, many people thought he was dead serious. (Slatkin has his own troubles to contend with this April 1 after what sounds like a disastrous outing this week in his first-ever "Traviata" at the Metropolitan Opera. EDITED TO ADD: This is no April Fool's joke: ParterreBox reports, and the Met press office confirms, that Slatkin has "withdrawn for personal reasons" for the remainder of the "Traviata" run.)

The ever-wonderful Opera Chic indirectly points to another tradition of musical buffoonery by linking to interviews of Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky in which they enumerate the things Dima has done to crack up Sondra on stage during performances -- the latest in a long tradition of operatic practical jokes.

My favorite celebration of April Fool's Day, however, came every year when I was living in Germany and the daily paper, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, would run one joke article, completely deadpan, every April 1. It was a wonderful challenge to find out which one it was, since they always seemed to save a lot of their most bizarre news to run that day. My first year in Germany, though, was perhaps the best: an American singer friend called up in great excitement to say that the paper had reported the discovery of a fifth Wagner opera, centered on the love child of Siegfriend and Brünnhilde. After all, it was in the paper.

By Anne Midgette  |  April 1, 2010; 8:56 AM ET
Categories:  random musings  
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Next: Slatkin on the skids


Happy April 1st:

Posted by: cicciofrancolando | April 1, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

You should have posted a spoof. Not sure what the risk is when people are taken in by your joke. Do readers really storm off in a huff and resolve never to read your blog again because they were taken in by a moment of frivolity?

Posted by: Lindemann777 | April 1, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Lindemann777 - The risk is that what you write in jest is widely disseminated, under your name, as representing either truth or your actual opinion.

Posted by: MidgetteA | April 1, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

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