I didn’t want to hijack Messy’s blog, but my comment is inspired by the following comment by a nonny and Messy's answer at Messofastory’s blog:
“Oh my. And here I thought the narrative was that Happy Days approached her. From this article, it sounds the opposite? Hey, look, so a family member got you the contact for a job. Great! I cant throw stones, cuz my dad got me my job, BUT, when people ask, I tell them that. Say that she got the job through a family contact, don’t make it sound like they (the festival) came calling. And lets be honest, chances she wouldn’t have the job if she didn’t have the ring. No major work in 3 yrs, and now?”messofastory answered:
Many jobs are based on who you know, rather than what you know, but I see what you mean anon, it seemed like it was spun that Happy Days contacted her - seems not.
And why is this news coming out today? Is someone pushing back and this had to come out? Up to this point, she had been pushed as
some kind of prodigy, and now we find her Uncle Julius, who is
influential, got her the gig. And then we find out she didn’t even choose
“Phaedra” as the work she would do, but the director of the festival
She didn’t get the gig on her own (won’t drag her too much for
that, but she has other family connections to the festival), she didn’t choose
the piece, the venue is part of the festival’s trend of using non-traditional
spaces (and castles are popular-it’s done all of the time for medieval works,
and there have been Shakespeare productions done in abandoned castles), she plagiarizes a
piece by Moorjani, and then her team retrofits her “vision,” such as
it is, to claim she got it from student notes that were part of a paper called “Beckett
before Beckett,” and not Moorjani. I looked at Moorjani’s footnotes,
and, well, lookie, lookie, absolute same sections are used for Hunter’s process that Moorjani uses in her piece. Okay. Easy to use the same parts of another work when Moorjani
gives the page numbers. Doesn’t explain the other similarities to Moorjani’s work, but I digress.
PR, you're giving me way too many goodies.
The Moorjani piece is 2012. The book Beckett before Beckett is 2008. I find it interesting
that Hunter would use a text (Moorjani’s) that makes the Racinian connections explicit between
Beckett and Britten, and then abandon that text that supports her process to
follow the book that does not. Well, we know why *plagiarism* cough.
She (or someone) chooses to ignore the context of the connection made by
Becket with Racine in Beckett before Beckett: Racine was not Beckett’s main influence. Andre Gide was
another author referenced in a group of authors including Racine and one could argue the more recent connection was
more important. The only connection between Beckett and Britten’s
“Phaedra" is tenuous: Beckett used Racine, who wrote "Phèdre," and
later Britten, inspired by the Racine piece, wrote
"Phaedra." The more important connection between Beckett and
Britten is that Britten was one of the founders of the Aldeburgh Festival
and so this piece celebrates Beckett that way. Of course a connection had to be found to justify its inclusion into a festival about Beckett’s work. It is no wonder that this Britten piece might
be considered no matter how weak the connection between Britten’s work and
Beckett early work.
"Phaedra” is considered a simple piece (not for the
soprano!) in that it is easy to produce and accessible to most audiences. It’s
not really avant garde, and Beckett himself is not really avant garde. That’s
an assertion by others. The musical director of the festival, approached by
Julius Drake, seems to have taken on the job of giving Hunter a gimme with
“Phaedra,” something she would have to work at screwing up, along
with making sure she had a partner who would do the heavy lifting. It’s been
discussed before here on Tumblr-the most important person besides the soprano
for this piece is the musical director, and since Hunter is not musical except
in the most casual of ways, hers is not the most important position. She is in
charge of prettifying the set. Why she’s getting the focus she is makes the
mind boggle until one remembers how she got the job: though all of her
connections. People are trying to make fetch happen. What they are forgetting
is she needs to do a real job to continue to get the attention she is getting.
The Beckett piece is about the relation of the internal processes of human
experience to the outer reality, which seems obvious but it’s a way
of making the character’s emotions and thought processes as visible as the
piece’s actions as though these experiences are a character in themselves. Yet
Hunter could not express anything more than Phaedra has just taken poison and
these are her feelings as she is dying, She hashes the same clichés pretend
artists have regurgitated in their jobs as pretend artists because it
supposedly sounds outré. These are the same buzz words used
by pretentious twerps everywhere.
And more puff pieces about a problematic character the
entertainment press swallows hook, line, and sinker.