Lucky tigers use Butch Hair Wax! Appearances are bluff. The Octavian Rosenkavalier Glyndebourne furore is NOT about bad reviews, which in themselves are no big deal. It's about BULLYING. Even the gender dynamics is a side issue. Are London music critics any more musical than noblemen are noble? These reviews were so lazy they weren't worth bothering about. But the self justifications are more revealing because they show how these minds work.
No, a review isn't "the truth", it's opinion. There's a difference, except to those so arrogant that they think the world pivots around them. And any opinion is only valid insofar as it's well thought through. Good writing involves analysis and respect for the art, and for others.
Baron Ochs comes from a feudal estate where his word is law. He abuses power because everyone assumes that's OK because it cannot be questioned. Those who hold power by default rather than by ability fall back on tactics like demeaning and trivializing the damage they've done. Which makes the damage even worse. Octavian and the Marschallin see through Baron Ochs. Perhaps that's why these critics picked on Tara Erraught, though there was so much else to write about. In the real world, complacency rules: hence blind subservience to authority. If only life did imitate art and the values of Der Rosenkavalier were taken seriously.
Please see my piece "Singers, looks and art - who is Octavian?" about the many ways Octavian could be portrayed (not just one!)