Sunday, June 27, 2010

Countdown to Черняков's Don Giovanni in Aix-en-Provence

You've certainly noticed that Dima Tcherniakov is one of my fave directors, so I obviously expect a lot from his new Don Giovanni which will be premiered in 4 days at Théâtre de l'Archevêché in Aix-en-Provence -- Thursday, July 1st

 Dmitri Tcherniakov during one of the rehearsals of his new production of Don Giovanni in Aix [photo by ArtComArt]

What do we know?
  1. We know the cast and I think it's awesome: Bo Skovhus, Kyle Ketelsen, David Bizic, Colin Balzer, Marlis Petersen, Kristine Opolais, Kerstin Avemo, Anatoli Kotscherga, and an excellent conductor, Louis Langrée, will lead a very good Freiburger Barockorchester.
  2. Here is a link to the gallery of more than 40 photos taken during the rehearsals [photos by ArtComArt] It looks promising... and I can tell the ultra-conservative French traditionalists will boo it [which is of course good! ;) ]
  3.  I remind you that the third show will be live broadcast via Arte Live Web on Monday July 5. [embedded after the jump]



  1. I love this Google translation from the Live Arte website - The highlight of the 62nd opera festival , the " gay drama " Mozart is headed by a gender specialist , the French conductor Louis Langrée.

  2. Did you like it? I have to say ... I didn't.

  3. Of course I did :)
    I need a bit of time to write "a comment". I'm just too freaking busy these days :(

  4. Why of course? On consideration I think it is boring, artificial and just doesn't work ...
    and that coming from a (generally) Dima-fan.

  5. It's coming... I'm trying to process it to put it in some cogent sentences :) Just being to busy and have no 2 hours in a row to gather my thoughts.

    Why didn't you like it? It's a superb show for adults that kicks you out of your habits. Why do we have to see the same thing over and over again? And it all happens on so many levels. Brilliant work! ;)

    I'll make a post hopefully tonight/tomorrow.


  6. See above: boring, artificial and just doesn't work. There are some good scenes, but on the whole it doesn't work.

    I don't see what that has to do with "not seeing the same thing over and over again". If it is boring, it is boring... A modern take HAS TO WORK, you cannot generally claim that any modern take is better because "it is not the same".

    I am fine with him taking liberties actually, just in this case they do not make interesting work.

    I liked Carmelites, this I find very disappointing.

  7. We can agree to disagree too ;)

    It did work and on so many levels. I GUESS when you went to see his Carmelites you didn't know what to expect. Right?

    Here you expected to see same ole Don Giovanni and you got a drama which only resembles Don Giovanni but with so many twists and turns that simply kicks you out of your system.

    Did you see Thomas Vinterberg's movie "Festen"? Did you dislike that too?

    For the record, I never claimed any modern take is better. There is plenty of garbage there too, but that garbage sink fast while the "Zeffirelli"-clones live for 20 years.

  8. Wrong, I knew what to expect - from his talk in the matinee :). Namely something unexpected. Which is fine with me. Fine that he changes the ending, still a good story (Carmelites).

    I never expected the same DG - why would I with someone like Dima as director? In fact I expected somthing unusual. I just don't think this is unusual, I think it is not good work. In fact you are the minority here who likes it, not that that matters of course, just A LOT of people didn't like it (reviews, audience, etc.).
    So not just me.

  9. Whatever happened to your post which I read??? Or I messed up when deleting spam!? Booo

    Anyhow... I don't mind being minority especially in this case: if the French reviewers or someone from FT (or even FAZ) says a show XX is bad, it's very likely the opposite is true (not ALWAYS, of course!)

    MANY people were dejected by the Carmelites because Dima contradicted the main intention of Poulenc's: his Blanche de la Force did exactly the opposite to what Poulenc wanted her to. I instead loved it for the same reason and because it celebrated life. No religious belief is worth human life, was it an suicide bomber today or Carmelites after the French revolution...

    As for his Don Giovanni, it is disturbing and your reaction is almost natural. Thomas Vinterberg's "Festen" was a groundbreaking movie because it made a huge impact on our culture, it shook so many taboos and made us think and see the world around us differently. Dima absorbed that aspect and made a very strong dramatic case here - OK it comes 12 years later in opera, but better late... His dostoyevskian culture helped too and I found the whole psychological complexity of the drama fascinating.

    This approach is unseen in opera, as far as I know. The sets are very simple, the action family-like/intimate but the interaction among characters is extremely complex (there is no single movement of any actor that looks purposeless or trivial in this production!) It's a whole different level of opera producing.

    But since we all have our preferred Don Giovanni and "we know the story", Dima's challenge was just too big. You react exactly as I'd expect most people to ;)

    The story of Don Giovanni breaking a pact with the Devil does not work with many folks any more (absolutely not with me!!!). Dima adapts it impeccably but with a very witty twist in the end. I say - AWESOME.

    Gotta go... I don't mind disagreements at all! I only loath the rigid idea that directors should blindly follow libretto with no liberty to bring the work to life today that goes beyond using the modern sets or costumes.

  10. You are making it too easy on yourself, it is not about the DG "we know", but I have already said that 3 times now (liberties allowed etc. etc.), so I guess it is pointless ...
    Your line of argumentation is a bit arrogant I have to say - anyone who doesn't like it for whatever reasons, is simply too stupid to get it ... you are oversimplifying. If I were one of these people you are referring to, then I wouldn't like ANYTHING Dima does obviously.
    You can get things, and still feel bored by them, as I happen to do. I have no wish to see it again ... that's really a bad sign in my book ;). I don't care what liberties he takes, as long as they are INTERESTING ... I think there is a lot that is trivial or silly by the way! :)

  11. I am going to see Mariusz K. in Figaro next Wednesday and Saturday --- that's going to be much much hotter than this ;). I have no clue about the Inszenierung though, doesn't look that interesting judging from the pictures ...

  12. Do let us know how it was though :)

    Have fun!

  13. Are you one of many -- like in a split personality? ;).

  14. Actually one of you is Dima, right, and the other is that Warlikowsky guy?

  15. LOL :-)

    C'mon guys, do register!

    It's simpler to identify the posts with posters ;)

  16. Its very clear and relative views of this topic