Friday, October 31, 2014

DVD -- Tcherniakov & Warlikovski

Two DVD to cherish, recorded at the World's best opera house --La Monnaie/De Munt:

  • Dimitri Tcherniakov production of Il Trovatore: After his superb humanistic approach to one of the most reactionary operas, Dialogue des carmélites, he deconstructed Il Trovatore by essentially eliminating its subliminal and profoundly racist tone. 
  • Krzysztof Warlikowski did a stunning job with Lulu: while DVD remains just a good approximation of the live experience, this production definitely deserves its place in any DVD collection of outstanding opera productions and makes us regret that his unforgettable production of Macbeth (also at La Monnaie) has not been released on DVD. 

As for the other two outstanding directors, I saw the new production of Die Soldaten  at the Komische in Berlin [I will write a separate note on that] in which Calixto Bieito once again reminded us who is a true master of the razor-sharp story-telling and who has audacity to do what no one else can.

Romeo Castellucci is presenting his theater pieces in Paris this fall [hopefully this time without religious freaks interrupting the shows!]: Go Down Moses this week at Théâtre de la Ville,  Schwanengesang D744 at Buffés du Nord, and Le Sacre du Printemps at Grande halle de la Vilette [due to unprecedented demand the organizers added an extra date, so you may still find free tickets for Le Sacre].

Note also that tomorrow, November 1st 2014, at 6 PM (cet) the Bayerische Staatsoper will live stream their new production of The Makropulos Affair -- one of the best operas there is ;)

Pur ti Miro

Clash of the two our most beloved divas, Sonya Yoncheva and Max Emanuel Cencic

from the superb Jean-François Sivadier production of l'Incoronazione di Poppea presented in Lille, 2012. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

L’Enlèvement au Sérail - Opéra Garnier à Paris

Musically it was a lovely evening and a radio recording might make many Mozart aficionados happy for a few hours [Philippe Jordan deserved ovations, as well as Bernard Richter, Erin Morley and Anna Prohaska]. The show itself, however, is a total flop. There is literally nothing salvageable in this moronery...

Last Spring the pleasure of experiencing a very good Robert Carsen production of Die Zauberflöte was partly ruined by the fact that it was given at the immense auditorium of Opéra Bastille. That flaw was corrected for this time and the Entführung aus dem Serail is presented at Garnier. Hélas, the show is most of the time an insult to our intelligence. We are not that shallow or naive. We do not go to opera to be seen and hope to be perceived as cultivated. We are not at the opera for the first time...

I wonder if there is anyone serious elaborating a strategy on how to preserve opera in the 21st century. This is definitely not a way to go. Why would anyone pay 140€/seat and go to theater to see a parade of stupidity that we could see [zap through] a week later on-line anyway?

A good production of this opera is possible and it is given almost every year at the Komische in Berlin.
DVD offer of this opera is actually quite good  -- the Johan Simons production and the one by Stefan Herheim stand out though. I didn't find them on YouTube but I just realized that a delicately constructed Christof Loy production is available, as well as one creative Stuttgart show.