Covent Garden’s Lucia will be ‘more violent than others

Diana Damrau has spoken about the forthcoming production, which has already prompted the ROH to warn ticket-holders of excesses of sex and violence.

The German soprano, 44, tells the Observer: ‘I would say, don’t send (children) to see Lucia because it is very realistic and it is going to be violent: more than in normal Lucias. And this is not something a younger audience should see. An older audience can take it – they are not in danger – but they will see something very strong.’

emma mattthews lucia

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  • Where will it end? Real murder etc. on stage, like the Regietheater in the old Roman amphitheatres?

    When nobody is expected to listen to the music and / or use his / her imagination, it seems that the management thinks that there is nothing else left to do to get people coming to the opera theatre. Then audiences will see the same average things that TV screens already generously offer in the home. It looks as a desperate attempt to get more people to opera, but it means that real opera lovers will stay home, preferring to play their DVD’s or CD’s, and in case new audiences will be attracted to the horrors, it will be a quite different type of audience, the type of people who come for sensation and blood and sex, not for opera.

    Isn’t it a form of populism: to address the most base instincts of the greatest number of people?

    The ROH should be renamed HOH; House of Horrors.

    • Blistering barnacles! Can’t a chap take his mem-sahib to the Royal Opera House for a nice G&T and some Ferrero Rocher – without being bothered by a load of wailing women on the stage, or a bloodcurdling story by Scott of the Antarctic?

      By Jove! If we’d wanted that sort of bally nonsense, we’d have gone to the theatre! Bashi-bouzouks! I didn’t get where I am today by going to see operas with stories about their own plots, not jolly likely!

      Of course, I blame the refugees for it all, really. And Pinkos, they’re to blame. Not that we actually go to the opera much – not our sort of thing, really. I prefer a staying at home to play my DVDs or CDs in attic. Nothing like the Massed Bands of the Royal Marines to cheer a chap up over a long evening, eh?

      Regie theatre? That would be Regie Goodall, of course, jolly good stick he was. I would imagine, from what people say. I wonder if he ever conducted at the Royal Tournament? Now that’s my kind of thing, lots of military bands and lots of violence. Jolly good show.

      Course, they’ve stopped it now, haven’t they? Nothing but Donizetti these days. I blame the BBC.

      • If you are going to attempt satire, make it a) funny and b) up-to-date.

        The people who need satirising and their balloons punctured are not colonels from the shires (do they even exist anymore?) – Cousin Jimmy would seem to have fallen out of a Patrick Hamikton novel in his riff – but a certain slice of the regietheater directorate.

        They undeniably exist, and are difficult to dodge.

        • Blistering bandicoots! Coming two days after Colonel Dungcan-Smith retired from a ministerial post in Britain, it strikes me that you need to keep your eye more sharply on the ball?

          Must grudgingly agree, old bean. Borstlap’s posts – beyond satire. Long overdue pinko thesps were taken down a peg by right-thinking chaps, eh?

          • If I didn’t know better, I ‘d be tempted to think that Cousin Jimmy was attempting to be funny.

            Still: is it wise for the ROH to hire Katie Mitchell for a project like Lucia?

            Her current production of Cleansed has had them rolling (with nausea) in the aisles at the Royal National Theatre. People fainting and having to leave etc etc.

            Now I am sure it won’t be quite that bad at Covent Garden: and we should wait until we see it.

            However, as Cousin Jimmy would put it, “I thought they had already booted out Holten for booking wrong’uns? Do these fellas never learn? Up for a bit more punishment, what what?!”

    • Have you ever read the libretto of Lucia? Let alone The source novel, The Bride of Lammermoor? It IS a Gothic horror tale. And it is redolent of violence (and sex): the whole thing is founded on ancient hatred, ghostly legends, doomed love and what might appear to a member of one of the revenge-minded clans sexual betrayal.

      Who would consider this suitable material for children? And why should the ROH programme its adult entertainments so that they can be digested by sensitive kiddies? Good God, we can barely get children to read beyond Harry Potter or listen to music beyond whatever their current hit parade dictates. By what token should any artistic director be considering such audiences for the music of Donizetti to a tale based on Sir Walter Scott? Nobody who has not heard of either should be a factor in production considerations.

      As for those adults: if they want opera in concert versions only — and the way some companies are struggling financially, that may soon be all that’s on offer — then fine. But for those who want to embrace the entire staged opera experience — the drama of the story as well as of the music and the appreciation of their happy conflation — then leave the artists to their visions, and open your minds to one that is not already on DVD. It is live theatre, after all, and should be approached as any such would be — and ultimately judged on the experience it provides.

      • This is missing the point…. entirely. If you want to see (almost real) blood, go to the cinema blockbusters. If you want to enjoy real violence and death and thorough insanity, go to Syria and join IS. If you want to attend an opera, expect an art form where reality is stylized, sublimated, aestheticised. It is not reality, but art: raised to an aesthetically, musically and psychologically organised level where meaning can be found. Already the old Greek understood that theatre was not about bringing reality in front of the audience: disasters were presented as told by ‘the messenger’ who came running on stage and setting the peripetie in motion, the point in the story where everything in the plot unexpectedly changes.

        Theatre and opera are art forms where the imagination plays an important role; too much anturalism destroys the art form.

        Of course opera plots are cruel, desperate, bloody, etc. etc. but it was never intended to put all that on stage as ‘real’ as possible.

        At the later eras of the Roman empire, theatre plays became more and more naturalistic, eventually including real bloodshed and, as the sources relate, (kind of) sex with animals. And this was not the amphitheatre where they had the real bloody spectacle. The reason was, that sensibilities were apparantly so blunted that only the most drastic stimuli were thought to be still interesting enough for audiences. There is no reason why a theatre like the ROH should stoop to levels which invoke such associations. Why should opera reflect such degeneration?

      • Diana Damrau says an older audience “can take it.”

        But taking it is not why they go to the theater.

        Your argument — most opera stories are violent — is therefore beside the point. The issue here is graphic representation on stage.

    • Regie has become the classic case, today’s exemplar, of what Wagner slammed Meyerbeer for over 160 years ago: effects without causes.

  • It is not enough to say that children can be shielded from such things, but anything goes for everyone else. The implication is that anyone who complains about what they see is being a child about it, and should ‘grow up’.

    I retain strong doubts as to why Katie Mitchell has been asked to undertake this production, but we shall just have to see.

    Just because something has a gothic backdrop, does not of itself mean that any amount of sex and violence is artistically justified. It does have to bear some relation to the demands of the actual text and ideally the music too.

    • Anyone who goes is, as I said above, entitled to judge, based upon their own experience — which means criticism by some for performances (in any medium and of any style) that others regard highly.

      And nobody is forced to attend anything. I have no problem with the ROH giving a sort of sex-and-violence rating to the shows that push the envelope in those terms. Clearly not for every taste, so the punters are entitled to choose whether to go or not. but I don’t see why anyone, including John Borstlap, has the right to limit the artistic choices, or experiments, of those who hold a stage.

      I do not disagree that excesses in one direction — toward the “gritty” and “realistic” (rather than “naturalistic”, another thing entirely) — can lead to a certain coarsening of the fibres. But that is as likely to result in a reversal of styles, as people become sated with it. Such is the way of taste, in the theatre and elsewhere, throughout history. Or at least in alternative interpretations.

      Art can try– it is one of its strengths, and one of its purposes. it may fail: purely aesthetically, or in succeeding in finding an audience. But art without a little risk once in a while is pretty dull. It is not meant to be preserved in amber.

      • This comment should be shelved for future cultural anthropologists, to help explain the decline of the arts in the 20th and 21st century, while the west was still rich enough to have opera houses and real and not virtual singers. One of modernism’s central, ideological slogans – as hollow and meaningless as any politicizing slogan always is – was the idea that art, any art, creating or performing, needed to ‘push the envelope’, ‘cross boundaries’, ‘transcend limitations’, ‘take risks’, etc. etc. to be meaningful. It is one of those entirely unthinking orthodoxies which are surrounded by taboos. It is part of the myth of avantgarde, of heroic ‘going where no other man has gone before’, and there is an element of violence in it (avantgarde is, originally, a military term). It is 19C cheap romanticism pushed to excess. It is defining a mind set which suffers from the delusion that making artistic quality distinctions is ‘limiting choices’, implying that total freedom is the most inspiring stimulus of art. It is not: the best of any art, at any time, is the result of making distinctions, making quality choices, rejecting something because there is something better. Art IS distinction, both on the creating side of it and the performing side.

        Rejecting primitive approaches in opera production is not ‘limiting choices’ but a sign of the intention to achieve quality. All this empty and, really, silly talk of ‘taking risks’ etc. etc. only refers to certain types of endeavors in certain directions, and they point downwards not upwards. An opera producer who would stage an old opera as much as possible according to the original mind set of both composer and librettist, can be considered taking risks as well, but of quite another type from the ‘risk’ of putting some fake blood on stage (which, in fact, does not carry any risk at all, it is merely sensation mongering for an imaginary sensation-hungry, primitive audience).

        The great achievements of Western art – those which are still with us today – were not intended to ‘cross boundaries’ and the like, but both their originality and quality are the result of the personality of the makers, who made persistent choices. They wanted to do the best they could, and the result was new and striking because it was personal. That is something different from trying to ‘push the envelope’ and then hoping that something of worth comes-out at the end.

        I feel sorry for the people who expect from art productions the fulfillment of all those silly slogans, because being so deceived, they will miss the real quality of things.

        • Someone needs to warn the real John Borstlap that an imposter is typing oafish nonsense in his name, and trashing his reputation.

          • Funny how Borstlap is this forum’s leading loudmouth when it suits him. But when faced with a direct question that brings his knowledge of this opera and its libretto into question, he disappears and pretends not to have noticed the question at all.

            But perhaps I’m being unfair to Borstlap. Why should anyone who likes to post 7-8 posts full of garbage about opera need to actually *know* anything opera?

            In these days of liberal entitlement, even a complete ignoramus has the right to fill message-boards with ignorant trash all day!!!

          • This morning an angry man with a hockey stick appeared at the gate, presenting himself as Mr Edward Mars, and demanding – in what our staff would define as a rather insisting tone – an immediate conference with JB. Since we did not want to interrupt the Master’s composing time (thinking of the cook’s fate), we called the constable who, after some investigation, pricked through the pretense and sent the real Mr Weatherfrey home to the local music school were he teaches Music Skills Through Computerized Liberation. This is already the third imposter trying to solve a dispute by hand this month! (Don’t tell anybody.)

            Sally

          • You claimed that the libretto of an opera is ‘missing the point’.

            The libretto is what inspired the composer’s notes. I was hoping you could tell us what the ‘point’ is – if not the libretto?

            But you’ve just typed facetious and insulting replies.

  • I blame [redacted] Kaspar Holtan the so called Opera Director. The quicker he goes the better, he has been useless.

    If CG are going to put on this kind of production, they must know BEFORE the tickets go on sale. Therefore they should warn the public before they buy tickets, not after most have been sold.

    If CG try and tell you they did not know before the tickets go on sale, then I am sorry, but they are either incompetent or liars.

    • What ‘kind of production’? An opera whose plot contains sex and violence which contains…err…sex and violence?

      Lucia di Lammermoor has been around since 1835: surely enough time for even the most complacent and entitled Covent Garden seat-blocker to have informed themselves about what it involves…

  • I have previously voiced my dislike of the distortions and alterations made to operas in the name of regietheater.

    But is this an example of such distortions, or merely a maximization of the existing materials?

  • On a different note, I was happy to see the photo associated with this post is not Diane Damrau but Australia’s beloved soprano Emma Matthews. Thanks Norman!

    • I have booked for Lucia and was very much looking forward to hearing Diane Damrau sing the title role. Having sat through a dreadful production of William Tell at CG, it seems extraordinary that the Holten regime are about to present something similar.
      Gritty productions of Tosca, Cav and Pag and the like often work because the libretto AND the music allow it. Bel Canto is far less suited to this type of directorial assault.
      I have never understood why some production teams seem to enjoy a negative reaction to their work, at curtain call or are they pretending? Fortunately, our tickets,this time, are for the second performance. If there’s to be a ruck on First Night, hopefully tempers will have cooled by the time we attend but I’m not confident!

  • Leaving aside the issue of violence, nudity and whatever on stage, I go back to the point I made in an earlier post. In the vdo made by the ROH to introduce this production of Lucia, Katie Mitchell and her designer (with their declared “100% feminist agenda”) clearly state they started thinking about this production in order to find “the concept” more than 3 years ago. That information would have been conveyed to the ROH at roughly the same time. But it was only last week that the ROH put out a warning. Ms. Damrau advises against taking children because what usually is only reported on stage will in this production actually be visible in a gruesome way to the audience. So what on earth was the ROH management doing over the previous 3 years in not alerting potential ticket buyers by including this information in their first publicity for the production many, many months ago?

    When I go to the cinema I get a rough idea from the classifications if a film is suitable for children. I have been to some Festivals where the booking brochure includes a caveat against certain events that they contain violence or nudity and may not be suitable for young children etc. So why has the ROH administration been so incredibly tardy in respect of Lucia? It is the ROH administration that has created this furore; not Ms. Mitchell. We’ll find out soon enough if her feminist agenda Lucia succeeds or not.

    • Statistically, and overwhelmingly, violence is perpetrated by men. It is a remarkable idea that emancipation of women would be served by presenting more violence in opera staging than usual.

        • We looked-up ‘poser’ in the dictionary but could only find ‘poseur’. Then we went into the kitchen and discussed what this comment could possibly mean. One of the stable boys offered another prank of Mr Weatherfrey as an explanation, but given his recent humiliation that seemed to us rather unlikely, after which the dogs began to bark again and the monitor showed a man at the gate with some big object in his hands. I’ve to stop here. It’s a busy day, really.

          Sally

          • My Chambers (revised 1973) gives ‘poser’ = one who poses
            ‘poseur’ = attitudiniser. Ça se corse! (The plot thickens)

          • My collegue gave me the [redacted] wrong dictionary. To our regret we found the meaning of the term in the Lexicon of Psychopatic Invective, and were shocked. We have been discussing tonight whether we would forward the meaning to the boss, but since Mrs B had let us known that he finally found the chord he was looking for and got quite happy, we decided to not interrupt this mood and instead take the opportunity to file our request for a payrise again.

            Sally

  • I’m sometimes glad that after the war my parents hadn’t got two ha’pennies to rub together. I was never subjected to ‘opera’ and came to it gradually through school productions of G&S and Carl Rosa touring opera, which even reached Birmingham and the Black Country. Why parents should think that Lucia in any form is a suitable treat for their offspring is beyond me. Presumably tourists with more money than sense drag their children along to CG when they only have a couple of days in London. Finally, what exactly is a child? Kaspar, Kasparle, please advise us.

  • Thanks God for CONCERT opera performances! And beware of all stage directors who are doing their best to destroy the music.

    • Yes, thank God that poorly-qualified opinioniated music-hating freaks have somewhere else to go, and don’t pollute opera theatres with their presence, or their loudmouth opinions voiced at fortissimo in the bar in the interval.

      Because pathetic emotionally-neutered music-haters who can’t deal with adult topics in opera librettos should really be kept out of opera theatres. Those of us who work in them are sick of wasting our time on no-hopers.

      Here’s a program for your next CONCERT opera performance, Tomasso.

      Overture to “Marco Spada” (Auber) (shortened)
      “Un Bel Di” from Madam Butterfly (instrumental arrangement, without annoying voice)
      Meditation from ‘Thais’
      ‘Memory’ from ‘Cats’ (Lloyd-Webber)
      Duet for Two Cats (Rossini) (so very, very funny)
      Dance Of The Hours, from “La Gioconda”
      Orlovsky’s Aria from ‘Die Fledermaus” (sung by a countertenor, so funny)
      ‘I’m getting married in the morning’ (from My Fair Lady)
      “On the street where you live” (from My Fair Lady, instrumental arrangement without voice)
      Olympia’s Aria from Les Contes d’Hoffmann (the countertenor sings again, even funnier)
      Finale – ‘Can-Can’ from Orpheus In The Underworld (Offenbach) – the audience are invited to clap in time with the music.

      Enjoy!! 😉

      • Thanks for your kind advice but I don’t care for opera cocktails either. The sort of thing I would prefer would be, for instance, a semi-staged concert version of “Das Rheingold” or – still better – Mahler’s “Auferstehung” or Elgar’s “The Dream of Gerontius”, just the way they are written. And, I promise, you won’t risk coming across me in the bar or anywhere else in an opera house nowadays.

        • Saw Lohengrin at Bayreuth and then, last December, the concert performance with virtually the same cast at the Concertgebouw. I preferred the Amsterdam production (possibly because there’s a free bar at the Concertgebouw

        • But you DO love opera cocktails, Thomas – you told us so. You hate opera in theatres, you need it GUTTED of all emotions, so that it’s GUTLESS.

          For you and your friends, Thomas, the main thing is the glamorous champagne reception after the show. You hate opera, and you hate music.

          Anything trivial or lightweight is your perfect entertainment. Fits your mental level perfectly.

  • Dear all,

    please allow me to make a few comments following this lively discussion. It is as always great to see how passionate we all feel about this amazing art form, whether we agree or disagree.

    First of all, let me underline that there is no case of sexual violence in this production, as some comments in an earlier thread suspected. Trust me, following what happened around Guillaume Tell we would have warned specifically about that, if that had been the case. I tried to make it clear that the sex and violence are entirely separate.

    Second, whilst I enjoy the discussion about interpretations and productions in general, maybe we should stop discussing Lucia specifically now until the production has actually opened. The fact that we warn about adult content does not mean it is the same as Guillaume Tell and other productions, and we have never made that connection. Not even the creative team knows exactly yet how the show will end up. so it is really premature for us to discuss Katie’s take on Lucia.

    I also want to make it clear that we are issuing a warning, not an apology or censoring the scenes in question. We want the audience to be able to make an informed choice. Some of you have implied that we would have known about this for a very long time and should have warned earlier. It is true that the basic concept of Lucia was presented to us 18 months ago. But many of us stage directors only develop the exact way to tell the story in each scene and the way we will stage the relationships in detail in the months and weeks leading up to rehearsal start. And even when we rehearse, we change things because they don’t work as we had thought they would. Changes – also to the potentially controversial scenes in Lucia – keep happening. We only learnt about the way some scenes would be staged as the rehearsal begun, and I am not sure Katie herself knew before tickets went on sale. In any case, if we warn too soon, we risk that the scenes in question won’t be staged that way after all. Maybe it is hard to believe, but a creative process really isn’t linear, and we must allow for changes. The singers aren’t just told what to do based on a plan made in advance, in the rehearsal room, the scenes are developed, investigated, discussed, changed.

    I understand some of you are angry that we didn’t warn prior to tickets going on sale, but that is why we have made sure to write to every ticket holder, and if someone doesn’t want to do anymore, we will help them to find a solution if they contact us.

    Finally, it surprises me that the discussion about productions sometimes becomes so black and white. It might surprise (some of) you that I actually like traditional productions – if they are good. And I hate some innovative productions – if they leave me cold. During my time at ROH we have had a mix of production styles, some have been criticised for being too traditional, others the opposite. That is fair enough. In the end, it will be a matter of taste for each of us whether we like this production or that. I have never experienced that all audience members react in the same way to a production, we always receive quite diverse reactions, even for the most controversial shows, even for shows I might not myself find successful.

    I do agree with John that risk applies to ALL new productions, whatever the style, period etc. If we try only to be successful, rather than honest, then it becomes about vanity. And every production, traditional or innovative, has a risk to flop.

    Even a traditional production is of course hardly ever completely a staging of what the composer envisaged line by line, or of how it would have looked in the composer’s own time. Time has moved on, audiences have changed, and even in period productions, directors can investigate characters, relationships, situations in new ways. Some productions might feel traditional, but are actually quite innovative. Others might pose as modern but are actually quite old-fashioned underneath the aesthetics. It isn’t just a question of sets and costumes for me.

    I enjoy the fact that art sometimes pushes my boundaries, challenges me, makes bold statements that I can agree or disagree with, and I also enjoy that art can sometimes make me feel happy, uplifted, entertained. All art cannot and should not, in my view, serve the same purpose, except that it all hopefully somehow tries to connect with us. I am sure all of you would agree that theatre and opera history has given us plenty of examples of stagings that certainly aren’t as they would have been in Shakespeare’s or Mozart’s time, but proved very illuminating and were successful.

    Having said all that, isn’t it quite acceptable and even good that we don’t always agree, that we don’t all share the same taste. There will be other productions of these masterpieces, and one production will never please everyone. But let us not try to make assumptions about the motives of others. I don’t know creative teams who like to be booed, they might pretend to on stage, because it is a tough situation to be met like that.

    You hire a creative team years in advance. based on their previous works. Sometimes it surprises you what style they choose, they don’t always do the same thing. None of us knows exactly what will happen when we commission a new production, it is a journey, a process, and we can only try to choose people whose work we have liked in the past, and whom we think might have something interesting to offer for this particular title. What then happens will always involve risk for us all.

    On that note, let us wait and see what happens with Lucia. And then discuss. I personally think the shocking aspect won’t be sex or blood as much as the production bringing out what a shocking story it really is about what humans are capable of doing to each other.

    All the best,
    Kasper

    • I am very surprised by the information at the end of this, in itself, very informative and balanced comment:

      “I personally think the shocking aspect won’t be sex or blood as much as the production bringing out what a shocking story it really is about what humans are capable of doing to each other.”

      Is this what opera is about? To inform us about what humans are capable of doing to each other? As if there are no other channels for this information? With all respect, but the thinness of this production aim demonstrates why blood and sex seemes to be necessary. As the, by now completely forgotten, 18C opera composer Joachim Alzheimer already said; ‘Wenn man nicht mehr besser weiss, greift man zu dem Blut und Scheiss”.

  • Thank you for commenting, Kasper.

    While agreeing with you that we need to see it first before actually having a view on what Katie Mitchell has done with this production, the following from your website again does not fill with confidence. My comments in square brackets:

    “‘We became very excited by the idea that there are some big scenes missing for Lucia’, said the director. [which the composer and librettist chose for some reason not to write]…

    ‘I have a very strong feminist agenda. My focus for this opera is 100% on the female characters – Alisa and Lucia. [Really? 100%?? Could be a little, well… erm… one dimensional then?]

    For Katie, this approach allows the audience to see ‘the bits of Lucia that I would really love to see as well as doing what normally happens.’ [So you take an opera, and make it into the one you would have liked to have seen instead?]”

    As I say, I am prepared to see it and of course to be wrested from my slight dread at the prospect of the whole thing, and stunned by its imagination, and gripped by its insight, but all the pre-briefing and expectation management is not exactly filling me with eager anticipation of something genuinely interesting (as opposed to merely shocking and/or nasty).

    And folks, it is not real, it’s a story, so don’t hide behind the idea that because there is a murder, you HAVE to show the murder on stage or are somehow ducking the issue, or being a bourgeois canary-fancier.

  • Holten should stick to overseeing productions and cease doing his own PR. Of course the production of an opera is a journey and of course elements change right though the production process, But he engaged Katie Mitchell, a director with a very specific agenda and – taken on average – a certain type of production, In other words, he had a pretty good idea what he was letting himself in for. Katie Mitchell says the basic production idea of on-staye/off-stage was conceived 3 years ago, How is it that Mr. Holten then did not hear about this for a further 18 months? That beggars belief.

    Has he never heard of the words “may” and “might”? A warning of “possible” on-stage violence could perfectly easily have been inserted next to the production when tickets went on sale and then no-one at the ROH would now need to be making excuses. To suggest that such a wording was not included because violence “might” not have actually taken place is sadly more than pathetic.

  • Odd, but I always think of ROH productions as Regie Lite, rather like those at the MET. Nothing too cutting edge to upset the “f*cking rah rahs” as Nicholas Payne once christened the old audience.

    Next week I’ll go and see the new Boris Godunov which was the first performance I ever attended at Covent Garden in 1974. What I still remember is the feeling of dusty stasis both on the stage and in the auditorium. Indeed, up until the redevelopment, the whole experience was of travelling back in time to a place where people like me were unwelcome interlopers in a very exclusive club. Not a feeling I ever felt at ENO or WNO, who were both involved in developing a performance aesthetic that it appears many in Floral St and Lincoln Centre still have problems with.

    For those who see Lucia as little more than an opportunity to compare the mad scene of Ms Damrau with Dame Joan or Maria rather than Ms Damrau working with a creative team to do more than merely recycle her vocalism from NY, Vienna or Milan, maybe they should dust off their shellac cylinders and remember that unless there is a new audience, whose ideas may be different to ours, then all we will have is our memories and possibly even a return to the days when ROH is put to other uses.

  • I am confused by Holten’s comment that some shows under his regime have been criticised for being too traditional.

    What did he have in mind when he said this?

    The greatest flops -Idomeneo/Guillaume Tell/Ballo- were all Regietheater pieces, as were the more successful Manon Lescaut and (perhaps) Maria Stuarda. Has there been a “traditional” success I have missed?

  • This discussion highlights the advantages of staying at home and watching a Blu-ray of a sensible production with the best singers on good equipment with friends and a bottle of wine. It wins on all counts. Here’s a longer list of the advantages of home opera, and the reasons why I hardly ever go to ROH now . http://www.hughmather.uk/wordpress/?p=47

    • Of course, the operas on the DVDs you watch weren’t filmed in real opera houses. Oh no! They were filmed in a magical Fairy Kingdom, where all the singers are elves and sprites – and all the orchestral players are gnomes.

      The stagings were all magically approved and endorsed by the original composers.

      No actual humans were involved.

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