US opera will stage Bollywood Figaro

Khori Dastoor, newly appointed general director of New Opera San Jose, has announced her intention to make the company ‘relevant to a wider, more diverse base of music lovers.’

She’s starting with a Bollywood-style Marriage of Figaro, set in India under British rule.

Dastoor, who joined the company as a performer in 2007, worked her way up to chief exec last October.

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  • Actually Marriage of Figaro in a Bollywood setting would potentially be much more convincing than most other modern updated productions. In an exotic background the story becomes much more plausible than set in the modern Western world.

  • Another Bieito thinking that Mozart and da Ponte are out of meaning for out times.Next step will be performing Beethoven’s quartets with a rock band to make them relevant whatever that means.

    • Now that would be a twist! No—I’m not referring to a Rosenkavalier set in the Amazon (possibly among natives who have never yet been contacted by the outside world). Ho-hum. No, I’m referring to the gender switch from “Der” to “Die” Rosenkavalier! So, let me get this straight: Octavian would no longer be performed en travesti, and, hmm—perhaps all the other roles would be? Now there’s a thought! 🙂

  • Good heavens. I live in San Jose, and I hadn’t heard a thing about this! (Sigh. I don’t get out much.) Thank you for the news, Mr. L. I will have to go!

  • ==thinking that Mozart and da Ponte are out of meaning for out times.

    Yes, I think that for example S.Sondheim was a far more thoughtful librettist than da Ponte. He addresses the human condition directly. Not all that stuff about randy dons, cross-dressing servants and the rest.

  • Now in Injia’s sunny clime,
    Where I used to spend my time
    A-servin’ of ’Er Majesty the Queen,
    Of all them blackfaced crew
    The finest man I knew
    Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din

  • Bollywood and the world of opera have more in common than you might think. Both involve unlikely plot devices, often centred on coincidence; take a long time to tell a very basic story (most Bollywood films could give Wagner a run for his money as far as length is concerned) and Bollywood and Baroque operas both rely on an implausible “lieto fine”.

  • Not a big issue, but the Company’s name is simply “Opera San José (sans “New”…I got a bit confused when nothing came up in my Google search along those lines). Looks like they’ll be doing West Side Story next season too, along with the “rarely performed(?)” Salome. I have some colleagues in the orchestra there; great players one and all.

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