The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 28, 1968 · Page 93
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November 28, 1968

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 93

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Thursday, November 28, 1968
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Page 93
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I II L 11HIII I .III ! !... , Mall Section, Thursday, Nov. 28, 1968 - 3 OY'S TOWNE Opera Status Is 'Shrinking 1 1 Presents Easy Convenient Christinas Shopping II Boys-Teens-Preps . f I J Don't Fight the Crowds! We make shopping easy Free Gift Wrapping Free Alterations Complete Selections Specializing in (C) Nt Vara Tlmat Ntwt Sarvlct "The trouble with opera is not that it isn't what it used to be,"' Noel Coward once observed, "but that it is." There is more than a gleam of truth in that witticism, but the facts show that opera has changed, and radically, since the crest of its popularity about half a century ago. The repertory is shrinking steadily in most prestigious houses, and the chance of a New Work breaking into the magic circle of standard-brand operas is virtually nil. Opera, which for Mozart and Verdi was inextricably intertwined with their political and social lives, is being relegated to museum status. About 50 works have been authenticated as masterpieces and are endlessly on display for reverent opera lovers. Explanations for the drastic shrinkage in reportery, put forward by opera managers and others supposedly in the know, vary widely in scope and plausibility. No one pretends to have any one answer. However, the following are considered factors in the decline of grand opera as a living, expanding art: Recordings, television and movies. The audience that once went to the opera simply for entertainment has been largely taken over by these and other popular media. Society has changed, but opera has not not enough, at any rate. hard-to-fit boys REGULARS SLIMS HUSKIES to hold the novelty-seeking public. Staggering costs. The constant, losing war with multimillion-dollar deficits tempts opera companies to play a few popular works over and over, in the hope of filling 100 per cent of available seats at every performance. The "museum concept." Opera managers now say without apology that large companies exist chiefly to preserve a few dozen classics. The audience trained to love these few works agrees. Lack of interest in opera by contemporary composers, and vice versa. Some observers insist that the problem is merely a long drought of talent; others say that avantgar-dist composers now look outside the opera house for a serious, intelligent public. Difficulty in persuading the highest-paid singers to learn new roles. A shortage of qualified, imaginative men in top administrative positions. The pool of works considered acceptable by the inbred grand-opera-house audience is obviously drying up. In 1924-25, for example, the Metropolitan Opera gave 177 performances of 43 works, an average of 4 an opera. This season, the Metropolitan will present 186 performances of 23 works, an average of 8 performances an opera. Al items Gift-Wrapped-Free! BOY'S TOWNE "Outfitters For Younp Cenllerven" MASS ROCKET PRODUCTION - Russia said it has started "mass production" of powerful intercontinental rockets to meet its growing space exploration needs. This photo, taken from the Soviet film, "Ten Years of Space Era," shows Cosmonaut trainees at a rocket factory inspecting a type of rocket used by the USSR to launch its Voshkod space ships. Not All Painters Enjoy Their Art PALM BEACH MALL (Next to Goodyear) - I ii -uMi -luir 1 mi &:f W 1 For The Woman Who Sews 71 By HILTON KRAMER (C) I9MN.Y. Times News servica .NEW YORK - Few contemporary painters give the impression of enjoying all or even most of the expressive prerogatives that once belonged to the art they practice. Distinction is nowadays achieved by narrowing, not enlarging, one's focus. Painting has become a highly restricted enterprise. Certain resources particularly what is known as the "literary" element in painting are rigorously eschewed. Others all that is meant by the decorative and the abstract are carried to the most astonishing extremes. The English painter Francis Bacon seems to be the great exception. He is, to be sure, one of the most dazzling pictorial technicians on the current scene. The new paintings he is showing at the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery here, are virtuoso performances of a kind that are rare even in an age of extraordinary technique. They deliberately court comparison with the masters. Their sheer authority is at first glance anyway overwhelming. That this authority derives in large measure from the WIDE WALE CORDUROY ?m Fashion's favorite corduroy with deep tex-; i 1 A SHINING JSWEl Brilliant rubies, sparkling sapphires, and golden peridots trim the mandarin collar of the full length lace coat over a matching chiffon sheath. Our special price $24.95 reg. $40 tured wales, aott, lusn, nut it s Close woven, sturdy with just the right firmness it needs for skirts, slacks, and jumpers. Choose from s), wide selection ot fall colors. :f : Ren:. S1J9 Value YOU SAVE 42c yd. yard .V r '1121 Mf! " --' FAMOUS MAKE Wt If BONDED 'ML ,Ji KNITS liV9ijPs IM bonded jerseys. Choose from an ts- Syffi-$?iEtfi?'E' sortment of plain nd novelty knits Vtfc--ySQiyfftr mostly 54 to 60 inches wide. fv k'Vh" You S.ve $2.00 yd. --yd 'Sj-'- 72 WIDE V W'- NYLON NET J C ' J ' J 'a" on n,a't'nK yur own Christmas 9 I wrtiTfcJirVlA ' decorations this year? Select this 8 '-Cllw ssm ' cracker crisp nylon net for perfect a i XaJkl aiy WiVi '" wrM,n'' Christmas trees, and many ft vTlJV jVEW more decorator ideas . . . Comes in ri. m't e3tii$Vr breathtaking array of colors indud- 1 ifC? l ing Christmas red and green. ( AVLYU S"VC 90 yard "iIM: FELT n:fy SQUARES DOLL AND ANIMAL CUT-OUTS Just in time for holiday, and Christmas, i fun. It's so much fun to make your own toys. These beautiful cut outs are 100 ' cotton. LADIESWEAR PALM BEACH MALL 25 C PER PANEL SHKEDDED FOAM Urge l ib. ban- Clean, white, fluffy foam , so practical for all voii r stuffing needs. Re. 7Vc -or IJ. Yousnvc lie 1 hag OO B The Christmas Gift of A Lifetime... METALLIC BROCADES 9"xl2". All the colors in the rainboir to choose from. Ideal for many art nroierts. for rhurrh ffrnunl. Hov Scouts, Girl Scouts, For that elegant and glamorous look in af- REG. lOc ternoon and evening wear stlect from fash- 15c EA. J 4 EACH jon't favorite holiday fabrics. painter's unashamed reliance on illustration is not, in this case, particularly damaging. This alone would make Bacon an unusual artist. Illustration is. for most of our painters, an original sin which they labor strenuously to be absolved of. Bacon is a master of this despised esthetic atavism, and does not hesitate to flaunt this mastery. He gets away with it. too. For he is also in possession of an unerring pictorial intelligence. He is one of those painters who appears to achieve exactly what he sets out to achieve. Clearly he has a lot more on his mind than exercises in technical excellence, however. He is a visionary of a particular sort a specialist in the grotesqueries of modern life. He is a connoisseur of extreme emotions, with a taste for the macabre and a gift for transmuting the psy-chopathology of everyday life into a compelling and very personal pictorial imagery. There is nothing of the commonplace in his work. Everything is pitched to the intensity of a scream. The pressure is unremitting, a little brutal, and more than a little calculated. Yet. despite the calculation, it has the force of an involuntary avowal. Why, then, does it strike me as being clever rather than profound brilliant rather than authentic? I know of few contemporary paintings that make as strong an impact on first viewing as Bacon's, yet it is not an impact that lasts. The scream fills one's ears, but then unexpectedly one discerns in it a curious musical resonance. It is not a cry of pain, after all, but a well-composed aria. What seemed, at first, like raw emotion turns out to be a form of artifice. The emotional temperature drops rather suddenly. A world of exacerbated feeling and desperate appetites, which only a moment ago seemed to press so hard on our consciousness, dissolves, and we are once again on the familiar terrain of the contemporary artist back in the studio, where the deci-sioas are cool, technical and deliberated. This, for me, is the problem - perhaps I should say the obstacle which Bacon's painting invariably presents. An inevitable depletion seems built into its style. His portraits and portrait studies, of which there are many in the current show, promise much in the way of psychological definition But there is, alas, no individuation in them. The psychology turns out to be uniform an intense neurasthenia which easily resolves itself into esthetic composure. One's interest in Bacon's painting shifts straightaway from the particularity of the subject to the distortions the artist indulges in the rendering. These distortions the mouth endowed with a blurred animal madness, the limbs strained in some desperate but not quite readable gesture, entire bodies contorted in miserable missions of passion make a large purchase on our attention, but then disappoint it. We are left, not with a penetrating insight into the agony of the species, but with a mannered and deftly turned style. It is only then that one grows a little queasy, finding that parable cleverness and facility. . . $J.99 Reg. 2.49 yd. You save 50c yd. II I (GT c ' ENCHANTING PEAU SATIN , "JSk'V SjtSkJ I Here is your invitation to glamour. :,. gcyX'?' V . Thi beautiful 100 Acetate Satin ' M ly fKrr his that exciting low gloas look. 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