07/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The F Word Causing Problems in the Midwest

Oh, dear. Never overlook where you are living.

Apparently the excellent Chicago Opera Vanguard has lost out on a sponsor because of the frequent use of a commonly used word beginning with "F." Really? And in the splendid opera Greek by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's composer-in-residence Mark-Anthony Turnage. What could be more respectable than that, you may well ask?

Eric Reda's energy and vision deserves better. I am very sorry indeed that I will not be able to see this production. I had it in my calendar for last week and then they changed the dates. It is maddening - but I hope that all my readers living in Chicago will show up. Now that Chicago Opera Theater's season is over this will be the last great thing of the Spring/Summer. It should not be missed and I hope that they do it proud. Turnage is one of the most brilliant composers of his generation and Greek was a landmark piece that did a huge amount for his reputation when it appeared at the Munich Biennale, and then the English National Opera, in 1988 when Turnage was just 25.

Come on Chicago, you are bigger than that. It is embarrassing to think that a sponsor would blink on this account.