Met cancels Calixto Bieito’s debut on cost grounds

Met cancels Calixto Bieito’s debut on cost grounds


norman lebrecht

January 14, 2017

Peter Gelb has told the controversial Spanish director that the Met cannot afford the Forza del Destino he was due to have staged next year.

Gelb said cancelling Bieito would save one million dollars. ‘It’s obviously something that I’m not happy to be doing,’ he added.

No comment from Bieito, who staged a thought-provoking Otello in Hamburg the week before last.

But you kind if cost was the only reason for cancelling Bieito in an America that is turning sharply conservative.


  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    Judging from the above picture, it isn’t the costumes for this production that cost a million dollars!

  • Bruce says:

    Took me a moment to figure out why it would save only $1 million: it’s a co-production with ENO, so the million would be spent adjusting the production to fit the Met’s stage (and also rehearsing).

    • Una says:

      It wouldn’t be the first time ENO have collaborated with the Met – or vice versa. His productions are a bit of an acquired taste – probably better in Germany than they were in London.

  • Carlos Solare says:

    It might have been more instructive to include a picture from the production in question, which after all opened in London, of all places, a year ago. But if you prefer scantily-clad gentlemen that’s fine of course too.

    • M Atherton says:

      Could you perhaps expand on this comment a little? Specifically, “London, of all places” and your concluding sentence? I’m not sure I’m getting you.

  • Carolien says:

    What a wonderful blessing. We cannot imagine opera lovers attending such a revolting production. We are trying to teach our grandchildren to love opera but can never take them to such embarassing productions

  • maria soria says:

    everything from Bieito is too expensive and not nice…( sorry but i am really happy…)

    • Una says:

      Carolien and Maria are not far off the mark from my own experience of seeing his productions. Pretty sure the Met in these hard times can get better value from someone else, as will ENO.

  • Richard says:

    Cancelling Gelb would save the Met not only a million dollars, but its whole future!

  • Leonora Bloom says:

    I take it the none of the million would have been spent on costumes.

  • Alexander says:

    Just in case it was not sufficiently clear to anybody, the photo is actually from Bieito’s 2009 production of Gluck’s Armida at the Komische Oper Berlin, not his 2015 production of Verdi’s La forza del destino at ENO (a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera).

  • Beatriz Cenci says:

    Any argument should be valid for avoiding ugliness in opera productions and it would be nice if theaters refused to finance crazy ideas from psychotics turned into opera directors under the excuse that they are the avant-garde, and the public is blamed as conservative philistines.


    It wasn’t a strong production when seen at ENO

  • Dan Oria says:

    Opera managers engage Bieito mostly because they know about his compulsion of showing naked men on stage – no matter if the staging concept is silly or completely far-fetched. This is, alas, one apect of the ways opera is trying today to attract audiences…