My favorite bit of the article:
"How could such crass behavior occur in a crowd paying top-dollar to hear a Wagnerian soprano? Did these ladies and gentlemen forget they were at a live performance, so accustomed are they to gossiping about each other over lunch? Did they just not care? Could they be so saturated with Eddie Murphy's Norbit fat-jokes and the over-plucked glistening flesh paraded before The Bachelor as to have become mere snuffling moles, utterly blind to true human beauty? Perhaps the requisite hush would have prevailed if it were Spitzer's call-girl in the role. She claims to be a singer, after all. "
Buono detta, Ms. Wingfield! Bravissima :-)
Can you imagine a reviewer suggesting that Pavarotti would be a much better singer if he just tried Atkins? Opera has always been the one place where talent trumped any social judgement of appearance. That's how it appeared from the cheap seats, anyhow. Could it be that the new digital standard of preference perfection is changing that? Could live performance art be shuffled out to make way for not-so-cheap imitation?
Personally, I think perfect digital sound is impressive in it's own way. But I've never heard a piece of digital music that has impressed or moved me to the degree a skilled live performance is capable of. I'll always choose a movie with good acting over one with digital effects, and I'll always choose music with real voices and instruments over the bland and soulless midi sound. That's just me. Maybe for the rest of the world, one can never be skilled enough to appeal without also being a piece of "over-plucked glistening flesh" made industry standard.