Elderly Man River

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With Stan Freburg, it was a joke, a masterful putdown of the intrusive, ignorant, smug, simpering, superior strutter who barges in and disrupts a performance of a classic — always in the name of the “tiny tots,” of course.

Satire died long ago, of course, asphyxiated by the Grim Keepers of PC who glory in throwing their weight around. Once more, they’ve struck paydirt, Pearl-Harboring the music prof who allowed a performance by a voice student of that masterpiece by those well-known mean-spirited racists, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein.

The offensive, racially-charged incident occurred at Saint Mary’s College in California, which was, long ago and far away, an admired liberal arts college with a demanding core curriculum. The voice teacher who was forced to grovel before the Thought Police is the world-class Bass-Baritone Louis Lebherz, who has performed in opera and concert venues around the world for more than thirty years. Ahhh, but that was then: now the Contra Costa Times reports that Lebherz “has been forced to apologize to the class and to complete diversity training,” and his future with the college is uncertain.

The offended party, a senior voice major, has done us a considerable service by providing this self-presentation, where in just six scintillating minutes he demonstrates his grasp of the curriculum, the demands of the language and the intricacies of repertoire, his understanding of American history, and the extent of his vocal accomplishments. Draw your own conclusions.

Meanwhile, a message to the rest of Saint Mary’s undergrads: good luck with Othello.

1:17 pm on May 4, 2010