Graham Vick: ‘The existence of education departments proclaims that opera is only for the educated’main
The international director takes his knife to a sacred cow:
The existence of education departments proclaims that opera is only for the educated or, worse, the initiated. Their statistics adorn annual reports without making any visible difference to audiences or performers; the more the outreach work, the more hermetically sealed the inner sanctum. It’s a form of protectionism.
Our charge is not opera itself but the experience opera can give. What is the difference? Well, when we talk with someone we adapt ourselves to be as communicative as possible to that person – we may even try to speak in their language or use terms that will carry meaning for them. I sometimes think performing opera in imperialistic opera houses sung in foreign languages by artists who patently do not have a command of them betrays all the effort to communicate of the Englishman abroad stubbornly speaking his own language louder and louder, expecting to be understood. The way we present our work should itself reach out and educate. Isn’t that what the guys who wrote them were trying to do?
Read his full revisionist and provocative article in The Stage, right here.