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Herkku
September 30th, 2012, 08:18 PM
I was going to write a review of Rossini's Sigismondo that has just appeared on DVD & BD, but I won't do it. The opera wasn't a success during Rossini's lifetime, but it has nothing to do with my reluctance. The music is not bad. Dare I use the term "run-of-the-mill Rossini" again? The singers are good, even goodlooking:

1002

Olga Peretyatko. Could she be the next Anna?

Seriously, the reason for my non-review is that I'm completely fed up with the way psychiatric patients are always presented: as ranting and raving, drooling and twitching monsters. The first act of the opera is situated in a mental hospital here - or a lunatic asylum, which sounds so much more poetic. There is some justification for it, because Sigismondo has his mad scene in the beginning (he is in the firm belief that he has had his wife [the woman in the picture] killed for {faked} unfaithfulness - all this has happened before the curtain rises), but it doesn't make the stereotypic picture of a psychiatric ward any more plausible.

Psychiatry is not my speciality, but I worked in mental hospitals during my summer vacations when I was studying. I can assure you that most of the patients do not outwardly differ from a regular opera fanatic. Whatever inner struggles they may have they suffer mostly in silence. There are extremes, of course, very odd behaviour and even violence, but it is comparatively rare.

I have never before risen to the barricades, but now the time has come. This is my first ever public demonstration and it is for every psychiatric in-patient in the world. Someone else has to write a proper review of Sigismondo.

And I apologise (or apologize, depending on the continent) to the community for this message that is not exactly a review. I know that we should avoid politics here, but as I see it, this is not politics but humanity.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
September 30th, 2012, 09:08 PM
I was going to write a review of Rossini's Sigismondo that has just appeared on DVD & BD, but I won't do it. The opera wasn't a success during Rossini's lifetime, but it has nothing to do with my reluctance. The music is not bad. Dare I use the term "run-of-the-mill Rossini" again? The singers are good, even goodlooking:

1002

Olga Peretyatko. Could she be the next Anna?

Seriously, the reason for my non-review is that I'm completely fed up with the way psychiatric patients are always presented: as ranting and raving, drooling and twitching monsters. The first act of the opera is situated in a mental hospital here - or a lunatic asylum, which sounds so much more poetic. There is some justification for it, because Sigismondo has his mad scene in the beginning (he is in the firm belief that he has had his wife [the woman in the picture] killed for {faked} unfaithfulness - all this has happened before the curtain rises), but it doesn't make the stereotypic picture of a psychiatric ward any more plausible.

Psychiatry is not my speciality, but I worked in mental hospitals during my summer vacations when I was studying. I can assure you that most of the patients do not outwardly differ from a regular opera fanatic. Whatever inner struggles they may have they suffer mostly in silence. There are extremes, of course, very odd behaviour and even violence, but it is comparatively rare.

I have never before risen to the barricades, but now the time has come. This is my first ever public demonstration and it is for every psychiatric in-patient in the world. Someone else has to write a proper review of Sigismondo.

And I apologise (or apologize, depending on the continent) to the community for this message that is not exactly a review. I know that we should avoid politics here, but as I see it, this is not politics but humanity.

I couldn't agree more, and wrote exactly the same message when it first came out. I had placed a pre-order with Amazon.com, and when I saw a clip with the ridiculous Hollywood-like depiction of psychiatric patients all drooling and twitching, I cancelled my order, and wrote a very similar rant here, saying that these people who suffer from a brain disease are people... regular people... nothing to do, for the most part (extremes excluded, like you said), with all the stereotypes. Depicting them this way only increases stigma and prejudice, and I can't agree with it or support it in any form (as in, spending my money to buy the DVD). I'd be so disgusted and angry watching this kind of display, that I saved myself the trouble and cancelled the order.

Herkku
September 30th, 2012, 09:23 PM
I didn't have a clue of what I was purchasing. And it isn't Olga's fault.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
October 1st, 2012, 02:28 AM
I didn't have a clue of what I was purchasing. And it isn't Olga's fault.

Yes, she looks nice. Can she sing?

HarpsichordConcerto
October 1st, 2012, 06:26 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxGRtRQNJcg

Interesting opinion above about the new Sigismondo production. The staging does not look outrageous; in fact, it even looks moderately traditional (judging by the clip). But the twitching behaviour of patients appears done in bad taste. All it takes is bad staging to totally screw up a whole production ...

Nevertheless, I shall by the Blu-ray. If I hate it, then I will also let you know. Right here!

Soave_Fanciulla
October 1st, 2012, 07:19 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxGRtRQNJcg

Interesting opinion above about the new Sigismondo production. The staging does not look outrageous; in fact, it even looks moderately traditional (judging by the clip). But the twitching behaviour of patients appears done in bad taste. All it takes is bad staging to totally screw up a whole production ...

Nevertheless, I shall by the Blu-ray. If I hate it, then I will also let you know. Right here!

I watched it twice on the planes between Auckland and London and liked it enough to buy it (there were no subtitles and I want to know exactly what was going on.

Herkku
October 1st, 2012, 09:28 PM
Yes, she looks nice. Can she sing?

Yes, she can, although my speculation about the next Anna may be a bit farfetched vocally. Unfortunately I don't have a BD-dock in my computer. Otherwise I would have posted some delicious screen shots of her bending over...

Soave_Fanciulla
October 2nd, 2012, 04:07 AM
Yes, she can, although my speculation about the next Anna may be a bit farfetched vocally. Unfortunately I don't have a BD-dock in my computer. Otherwise I would have posted some delicious screen shots of her bending over...

Windows snipping tool.......

HarpsichordConcerto
October 2nd, 2012, 05:01 AM
Windows snipping tool.......

I love it, I just discovered how to use it.