Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #796
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    Fair enough. I didn't mean to imply you loved that Lulu without reservations.

    Still, it seems a bit much to suggest a director shouldn't work any more, when you've been able to derive some real enjoyment from at least one of his productions.

    Who knows what you might miss out on in the future?
    The comment was more directed in general towards what I call "extreme Regie." If people who repeatedly engage in these shenanigans exclusively for titillation and shock value rather than for an artistic decision that makes sense, started to see the box office revenue drop, maybe they shouldn't be put out of work, but should at least be reined in by the house leadership, so that they moderate their actions a bit. I mean, do we really need a naked octogenarian or a hardcore porn movie on the operatic stage?

    I'm actually *for* Regie and innovation, just, thoroughly against *extreme* Regie with the vapid goal of achieving 15 minutes of fame by means of deliberately shocking the public.

    That's exactly my point. Mr. Py's Lulu staging was interesting and compelling, innovative and appropriate to the topic (like I said, Lulu *is* an opera about sex and deviant sex) and I did applaud him for the good parts, but he didn't need to go as far as to show hardcore porn. That's totally unnecessary, gratuitous, gross, and offensive. And I'm not the most conservative guy. But that's just too much. There are lines of decency that shouldn't be crossed. If you get to be frankly pornographic when stage-directing an opera, chances are you are in the wrong business.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #797
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post


    This is a scene from the Bavarian State Opera's new production of Il Trovatore, which has its opening performance today. This shot is from a dress (or undress?) rehearsal, and according to Jonas Kaufmann's unofficial web site, the eldery woman in her birthday suit is supposed to be Manrico's granny who was (according to the libretto) burned at the stake. As the web site owner suggests, one's clothes probably burn up first! (Azucena herself looks awfully young to be Manrico's mama.) In this production, Leonora is blind and wears dark glasses at least part of the time. I'll be curious to read the reviews and find out what the Regisseur's explanation for all of this is.


    Just curious what he will be saying about theatre staging in his next interview.

  3. #798
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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  4. #799
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Call me crazy, but . . . it looks pretty cool!

  5. #800
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Oh wow, that is excellent news! I did not see this performance and I deeply regret it, since everybody said it was so sublime!
    I'll be sure to record it on DVR.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  6. #801
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Oh wow, that is excellent news! I did not see this performance and I deeply regret it, since everybody said it was so sublime!
    I'll be sure to record it on DVR.
    It was, Act II especially! Act I dragged a bit, but Act II was riveting. One of the best Parsifals I've seen. And of course, Kaufmann was simply superb. (Of course it isn't Knappertsbusch though)

    I definitely appreciate the complaints however. First-time watchers of Parsifal lose track of what is going on because of the contemporary costumes. I don't recommend this production for those people. But for those who know the story already, this performance is indeed sublime.

    I know a woman in Baltimore who told me she sat through it seven times.

    BTW, if you record it on your DVR, you'll want to turn up the brightness on your set when playing it.

  7. #802
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    I agree, Act II was the strongest. Very cool Flower Maidens.

    I'm not sure if it 's a great production, but it's definitely respectable, and it's good to have a Kaufmann Parsifal.

  8. #803
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    I'm not sure if it 's a great production...

  9. #804
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    LOL . . . Well, in my book François Girard's Parsifal staging is up against some pretty tough competition, including Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's eclectic film, Nikolaus Lehnhoff's world-traveling Regie classic, and Stefan Herheim's challenging Bayreuth production. I find all of those interpretations more daring and intriguing.

    But I did enjoy the Met production as well, and will most likely order the DVD when it becomes available.

  10. #805
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    LOL . . . Well, in my book François Girard's Parsifal staging is up against some pretty tough competition, including Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's eclectic film, Nikolaus Lehnhoff's world-traveling Regie classic, and Stefan Herheim's challenging Bayreuth production. I find all of those interpretations more daring and intriguing.

    But I did enjoy the Met production as well, and will most likely order the DVD when it becomes available.
    Fight, fight!

    1. Syberberg's film is... a film. I like it as a film. It definitely shows what goes on in the mind of Syberberg even if it's not Wagner's own mind (I really question Syberberg's "interpretation" of Wagner, but I digress--it would be interesting to have Almaviva's professional take on Syberberg as inferred from this film!). But I can't even think of it as an opera or a film-opera because of the offensive lip-syncing.
    2. I bought the Nikolaus Lehnhoff Blu-ray because of Almaviva's "list" on TC (yes, Alma, your list caused me to spend a lot of money as it is dangerous to present a list to someone suffering from OCD! ). I have now loaned my copy to Hoffman because I told him that if none of the other productions he has seen has hooked him, he might as well try a non-traditional one like this. I love Meier of course. That said, I almost don't consider it Parsifal since Lehnhoff really butchered Wagner's work. Since I am a fan of Regieoper, unlike a lot of opera fans, I force myself to tolerate radical reinterpretations (and I "force" myself to tolerate nudity ), but when I watch this production, the little voice in my head can't help but chatter every time Lehnhoff departs from Wagner, which is more often than not--stuff like, "and now so-and-so is supposed to do so-and-so instead of what I am seeing", etc., etc. I really don't think this production can be considered on the same playing field as other Parsifals, including Girard's.
    3. Beyreuth 2012: Not going to comment on this yet since I haven't seen it. I love Parsifal so much (favorite opera of all time) that now I have to watch it as I did find that Schigolch posted a link to the full performance on the YouTube thread. (Will comment on Bayreuth 2012 later this weekend.)


    However, I will say that as of this moment, I still believe Girard's Parsifal to be the absolute best I've seen, even if the music is not quite up to the standard of Knappertsbusch 62 (agree with DarkAngel's and Schigolch's voting on TC--Karajan just falls short). Will see if this remains my opinion by Monday.


  11. #806
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I haven't yet watched the Parsifal as I haven't been too interested in dealing with the patronizing Marantz tech support people but, with the PBS broadcast looming, will need to watch the DVD to help provide a point of reference.

    The Trovatore looks interesting - I was thinking from the clip that the U.S.' KKK problem was safer territory in Germany than the Nazi stuff, but then it got booed too, so maybe German audiences aren't any crazier about bad Regie elements than we are. I suppose if one wants to go to the opera, one has to take what one gets in productions.

    Boo-ing is so common in Germany that I saw one opera house (I. Don't recall which one) selling tee-shirts celebrating audience booing. Kind of takes the sting out of it, I would think.

  12. #807
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Wagnerites check out this Parsifal production by Calixto Bieito, slightly unconventional?

    http://www.opera-britannia.com/index...iews&Itemid=16

  13. #808
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Angel View Post
    Wagnerites check out this Parsifal production by Calixto Bieito, slightly unconventional?

    http://www.opera-britannia.com/index...iews&Itemid=16
    Disgusting.

    His prelude is here:


    OK. [Delete] [Delete] on the disgusting. REVISED: A singular piece of musical theatre, which bears little resemblance to the opera upon which it is ostensibly based. (Better? )

  14. #809
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Bieito's Parsifal premiered at Stuttgart in 2010; the current production is a revival.

    I've never seen it all the way through, so I won't venture to guess whether I would find it either "disgusting" or "a singular piece of musical theatre." Admittedly, it bears little resemblance to the opera as Wagner has envisioned it, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying similarly off-beat productions.

  15. #810
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Syberberg's film is... a film. I like it as a film. It definitely shows what goes on in the mind of Syberberg even if it's not Wagner's own mind (I really question Syberberg's "interpretation" of Wagner, but I digress--it would be interesting to have Almaviva's professional take on Syberberg as inferred from this film!). But I can't even think of it as an opera or a film-opera because of the offensive lip-syncing.
    An opera film is certainly very different from watching a live opera, or even a video recording of a live performance. If you don't want to call Syberberg's film an opera production, fair enough. But I still find it a fascinating take on Wagner's original, however you may define the relation between the two works.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    I bought the Nikolaus Lehnhoff Blu-ray because of Almaviva's "list" on TC (yes, Alma, your list caused me to spend a lot of money as it is dangerous to present a list to someone suffering from OCD! ). I have now loaned my copy to Hoffman because I told him that if none of the other productions he has seen has hooked him, he might as well try a non-traditional one like this. I love Meier of course. That said, I almost don't consider it Parsifal since Lehnhoff really butchered Wagner's work. Since I am a fan of Regieoper, unlike a lot of opera fans, I force myself to tolerate radical reinterpretations (and I "force" myself to tolerate nudity ), but when I watch this production, the little voice in my head can't help but chatter every time Lehnhoff departs from Wagner, which is more often than not--stuff like, "and now so-and-so is supposed to do so-and-so instead of what I am seeing", etc., etc. I really don't think this production can be considered on the same playing field as other Parsifals, including Girard's.
    I'm not sure I follow you here. Yes, Lehnhoff departs from Wagner's original directions in numerous ways, but so does Girard--so does pretty much any Regie director. Can you be more specific about some Lehnhoff choices that bothered you?

    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Bayreuth 2012: Not going to comment on this yet since I haven't seen it. I love Parsifal so much (favorite opera of all time) that now I have to watch it as I did find that Schigolch posted a link to the full performance on the YouTube thread. (Will comment on Bayreuth 2012 later this weekend.)
    If you thought Lehnhoff took too many liberties, you'll probably HATE Herheim!

    But give it a try. If nothing else, it may help you look back on Lehnhoff more favorably.

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