All bets are off

All bets are off


norman lebrecht

December 16, 2007

Hot ticket at next summer’s Salzburg Festival is Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet with Paris Hilton and Jonny Depp in the title roles – sorry, make that Netrebko and Villazon. Both dumped on Salzburg with last-minute cancellations last summer, so don’t book yet. Myself, I’d check the pedigree of the understudies before making smmer plans.
Over at the Landestheater a week later, London’s National Theatre will be staging David Hare’s production of Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking with Vanessa Redgrave as the elderly writer recovering from her husband’s death (as premiered last March in New York). I’m guessing that this is Vanessa’s Salzburg debut and I do hope she won’t feel constrained in run-up interviews from venting her well-known views on poverty and Third World liberation movements at the plump industrialist couples in the $200 seats, or at the plump opera singers whose fee will be ten times hers. For the first time this century, a little frisson of controversy is returning to the summer fest.