Cheryl Lew

I knew Alan only well enough to say hello to and to chat with very brief whenever we saw each other at concerts and various music social events. On one occasion he sat with me and one of my colleagues at the Café in WDCH—but I think our conversation wasn’t scintillating enough so he ate his chili and excused himself quickly. He was unfailingly warm and cordial, despite his curmudgeonly persona in his reviews.

During the 2nd iteration of the Tristan Project, since I was enamored of the individual parts, I went to see the whole and was sitting in my seat up in the terrace level when I heard the unmistakable booming baritone right behind me. Knowing that Alan was NOT enamored of the Sellars-Viola approach to this opera, and that the voice was coming from NOT his usual critics seat, I was astounded to turn around to see him right there. So I blurted out “What are you doing here? I thought you hated this production.” He laughed and said that he wanted to hear the new tenor imported to replace the original. He then remarked that the copy of the Oresteia in my hand was an odd choice to read in preparation for Tristan und Isolde, but then went on to give me a review of the several great and not so great modern productions of the Oresteia he’d seen over the course of his career when he wasn’t doing his music thing.
I’ll miss seeing the suspenders at Ojai and the red sweater at WDCH.