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.

Sandrine Piau is not my most fave singer but I doubt anyone ever sang Ach, ich liebte, war so Glücklich with that much finesse as she did in this video:

or the young Richard Croft who killed Ich baue ganz auf deine Stärke


  1. We paid over 170 euros and left at the interval.

    1. I too was considering leaving but a hope that something would eventually happen in the second part kept me staying. How foolishly optimistic of me... :(

  2. Well, my blog has a name to live up to.