Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bless Francis Carlin

In his hilarious critique for Financial Times, Francis Carlin wittily thrashed the "new" Del Monaco's production/thing of Andrea Chenier  in Paris. I needn't say that I  fully share his views or do I? ;) Here is an excerpt from Carlin's critique:
"Both producer and work were making their house debuts, Chénier having previously been confined to French provincial theatres where patrons can be expected to suffer bursts of the Marseillaise and Carmagnole without wincing too much. The irony is that del Monaco has subjected Paris to an aggressively provincial stew of corny ideas shamelessly reworked from an earlier attempt. Ham acting and stylistically jumbled sets (Carlo Centolavigna) suggest a revival of a moth-eaten production dragged down from the attic, not a new venture.
Nobody expected a cutting-edge staging from this production team but such staggering incompetence and bad taste are still an unwelcome surprise: Chénier delivers his Act II Credo from a high terrace for the benefit of the technicians in the flies rather than the adoring public, the sans-culottes look totally uninvolved and Maddalena and Andrea exit this world not by marching to the guillotine but by clambering up the giant prison bars like a pair of chimpanzees in your local zoo. The only accurate description for this circus is the French connerie insondable (unfathomable idiocy)."

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