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Thread: Stage directors

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    Default Stage directors

    I know this may be a mad example due to the critical failure of Antony and Cleopatra, but Antonio Zeffirelli was a stage director for operas and he was not a student of music. He was a film and theater director. Have there been other big-name directors of operas that came from the theater world? Most directors are composers or condctors. At least, that is how it seems.

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I don't agree that directors are composers or conductors - conductors, apart from Karajan, usually stick to the music direction. Modern composers might be involved in directing their own compositions but often work with a professional stage director.

    The well-respected directors in the opera world have a theatrical or film background. Robert Carsen (overall my favourite director) specialises in opera, as do Nikolaus Lehnhoff and Stefan Herheim for starters. Willy Decker has a music background but is a professional director. Laurent Pelly, Jonathan Kent and Robert Wilson came from a theatre background before moving on to opera. Sometimes directors cross over from film into opera, for example Terry Gilliam and his recent production of La Damnation de Faust at ENO. I could go on but I think I've made my point.
    Last edited by mamascarlatti; Jun-23-2013 at 20:56.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarkellyt View Post
    I know this may be a mad example due to the critical failure of Antony and Cleopatra, but Antonio Zeffirelli was a stage director for operas and he was not a student of music. He was a film and theater director. Have there been other big-name directors of operas that came from the theater world? Most directors are composers or condctors. At least, that is how it seems.
    You probably mean Franco Zeffirelli, the man is still very much alive and a legend.

    It's unusual for conductors to take on direction, although it happens, for example Gardiner directed and conducted Cosi fan Tutte back in the 90's. Actually a very good production.

    There are also some singers that turn to direction, for example Rolando Villazon and Jose Cura.

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    Senior Member Zabirilog's Avatar
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    Kupfer the best!

    I also like Otto Schenk very much, and after watching the movie Zauberflöte I also started to like Kenneth Branagh! (well he's not an proper opera director, I know, I know)

    Plus: I'm forced to write the name of a Finnish genius: Vesa Tapio Valo.

    Das ist kein Mann!

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zabirilog View Post
    Plus: I'm forced to write the name of a Finnish genius: Vesa Tapio Valo.
    Has he directed any opera? Wiki does not mention any.
    Natalie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarkellyt View Post
    I know this may be a mad example due to the critical failure of Antony and Cleopatra, but Antonio Zeffirelli was a stage director for operas and he was not a student of music. He was a film and theater director. Have there been other big-name directors of operas that came from the theater world? Most directors are composers or condctors. At least, that is how it seems.
    David McVicar attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to study acting but has mostly directed opera productions since.

    ADD: Almost forgot Peter Sellars who had a long career in theatre production.
    Last edited by tyroneslothrop; Jun-27-2013 at 06:06.

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    Senior Member Zabirilog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Has he directed any opera? Wiki does not mention any.
    Yes, a hilarious Entführung some months ago.

    Das ist kein Mann!

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    Thanks for the information. Also, I don't know why I wrote Antonio. His name is definitely Franco Zefirelli.

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    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    I've loved the three Bartlett Schear productions (IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN, and L'ELSIR D'AMORE) that I've seen. He seems to do my favorite sort of opera production: traditional ones that contain interesting, thoughtful details.

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    Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Patrice Chereau is best known as an opera director (1976 Bayreuth Ring), but whose background was in theater, and Jean Pierre Ponnelle, who apparently was exclusively an opera director are both important opera directors.

    Chereau, of course, also is known for having started the trend of Regie Oper - Directors' opera - enriching opera productions forever (or, depending on your POV, destroying it..).

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