Matthew Duersten writes that he “can’t see what the preservationists see” in the downtown Palace Theater, the oldest vaudeville theater/movie palace in Los Angeles. But like so many others, he seems to be lacking the vision it takes to see what could be made of them while also preserving what little history we have here. I find the column to be especially disheartening when thinking that if more people are now thinking like Duersten, we might not have places like the Wiltern Theater, the Egyptian, the Orpheum or the El Capitan brought back to their glory and renewed use. It’s about more than just looking at layers of old paint in a building, but sometimes you just have to show people what once was in order to get them to see what can be again.
I refer to Alan Rich’s review of singer Thomas Quasthoff’s performance at the Hollywood Bowl[“The Sound of Silence,” August 23–29]. Unlike Pavarotti, Domingo, Fleming, et al., Quasthoff is not a quickly recognizable name — at least not to this reader. Nowhere in his review does Rich tell the ignorant reader into which voice category Quasthoff falls. From the review, I couldn’t tell if he was a basso profundo or the last of the red-hot castrati. One would have to deduce from the repertoire he sang what he is.
At least Rich did mention that Lilli Paasikivi is a mezzo-soprano. Please, Alan, less space to retreaders such as Luciano Berio, and more for the subject of the review.