The fat lady is still singing in the comments section of The Age's former opera critic's apologia on why he quit, with the Melbourne arts and journalism community getting into the fray.

Michael Shmith wrote a piece for the Australian Book Review earlier this week criticising the paper's arts coverage in an explanation of his resignation. In his article, Shmith says he wanted to review a Melbourne Lyric Opera production, which arts editor Hannah Francis said there was no room for. He then submitted a 300-word review anyway, which wasn't published. Shmith said he was told productions from bigger companies were more likely to get a run. So he quit.