View Poll Results: Overall, what do you think of Regietheater opera productions?

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  • I love it!

    3 6.12%
  • I like it.

    0 0%
  • I don't like nor dislike it.

    9 18.37%
  • I dislike it.

    12 24.49%
  • I detest it!

    24 48.98%
  • I don't know...

    0 0%
  • I don't care about opera.

    1 2.04%
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Thread: Overall, what do you think of Regietheater opera productions?

  1. #46
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Great. A clown in a truck
    I wonder... when was the last time Bayreuth made a traditional production?

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  3. #47
    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Is this out yet? I can’t see it on Amazon.co.uk. I do have it on MP4 but I would like a Blue-Ray of it.
    The Blu-ray is available on U.S. Amazon--though in a regional format that won't play in the Western hemisphere. Go figure.
    Alan

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  5. #48
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    Thank you. It’s not clear whether or not this is Blue-Ray. I shall investigate further. I really enjoyed this production. For me it had many illuminating moments and it was beautifully acted and extremely well sung all round. I think I posted on this on another thread, the title of which escapes me for the moment.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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  7. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I wonder... when was the last time Bayreuth made a traditional production?
    Probably sometime in the nineteenth century
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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  9. #50
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Probably sometime in the nineteenth century
    1883 might have been the last time .

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  11. #51
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I wonder... when was the last time Bayreuth made a traditional production?
    I believe it was when Peter Hall produced the ring

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  13. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    I believe it was when Peter Hall produced the ring
    That would have been the centenary ring in 1983 with Solti at the helm. I have the audio of that Ring and I think it’s excellent. Solti in the theatre was a different creature from the studio one!
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

  14. #53
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    That would have been the centenary ring in 1983 with Solti at the helm. I have the audio of that Ring and I think it’s excellent. Solti in the theatre was a different creature from the studio one!
    I think that’s the great thing about Bayreuth recordings! They bring out different aspects of conductors and singers while enabling to follow the development of their interpretation. When it comes to productions, I think I’d prefer Wieland Wagner’s stagings to many other modern ones. Especially when it comes to operas like Tristan which have less stage action anyways. It’s a different case with Die Meistersinger, I guess. At least in their essence, many Wieland Wagner’s productions remained traditional. By that I mean that he didn’t try to give them a new meaning but maybe to bring out the deeper meaning even more. If I recall correctly then Hotter, who obviously was quite a tradutionalist, wrote that while it took time to get used to, the singers didn’t have huge problems with those stagings otherwise (with a few exceptions like the Die Meistersinger I suppose).

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  16. #54
    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I wonder... when was the last time Bayreuth made a traditional production?
    I believe the productions were *all* pretty traditional--and getting quite threadbare--up until World War II. It was only after the war, with the reopening of the theater in 1951, that Wieland Wagner dispensed with the old trappings and took things in a more abstract, pared-down direction (for both ideological and economic reasons).
    Alan

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  18. #55
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    I believe the productions were *all* pretty traditional--and getting quite threadbare--up until World War II. It was only after the war, with the reopening of the theater in 1951, that Wieland Wagner dispensed with the old trappings and took things in a more abstract, pared-down direction (for both ideological and economic reasons).
    Yeah, the older Wagners seemed to be quite traditional. I recall an amusing remark which Winifred Wagner, who disliked the production, made about Chereau Ring: "Isn't it better to be furious than to be bored?"

    It would be a dream to see a truly traditional Ring at Bayreuth though!
    Last edited by annaw; Jul-03-2020 at 12:58.

  19. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    Two more wishes. Use them wisely.

    Attachment 138925
    I’ve ordered it. Yay!
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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  21. #57
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    I’ve ordered it. It is the Blue-Ray. Should arrive by next Friday.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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  23. #58
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    This is an interesting article about the Bayreuth 2018 Tannhäuser.

    https://www.dw.com/en/tannhäuser-at-...ide/a-49751299
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

  24. #59
    Senior Member vivalagentenuova's Avatar
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    One problem I have regie productions is that a lot of them tend to be extremely ugly, and totally unnecessarily so. That's not inherent in the genre, but it's my experience, whatever that's worth. There's a lot about the world that's extremely ugly, so I don't see why we need to go about making more gratuitous ugliness of our own (as opposed to the meaningful ugliness of Michele's murder of Luigi, which it is part of an artist's job to create in order to be truthful about the world).

    That being said, even if a production isn't ugly, it can still fail for me. Conte is absolutely right that there are traditional productions that have no real theater, even if they look prettier. I agree that that is undesirable. It is also possible that part of the prejudice against modern productions comes from the fact that those of us who think singing has declined tend to associate them with performances we don't like for other reasons.

    I can like anything, as long as it's good. And what I want in an opera production is for it to be good at expressing the meaning of what the composer created (which is not always equal to what the composer consciously intended). That's where many regie productions fail. They fail because they don't really engage with the work on its own terms. They are often driven by psychoanalytic interpretations or social or literary theory, all of which has virtually nothing to do with the operas in question. Another problem is that updating, even (or perhaps especially) if preserving the plot, is often totally pointless. For example, what does this setting gain us in terms of getting at the meaning of Gianni Schicchi:


    It doesn't really even provide us with any new jokes. It's mostly dull, fairly lifeless theater, except for the rather charming way that O mio babbino caro has been handled.

    This very traditional production, however, is full of life, and there is real humor, understanding, and craft in how it has been put together:


    If you could do regie production that was as full of life as that traditional one, I would love it. If you can't, then you shouldn't. Most directors that I've seen can't pull that off, in part because they aren't trying to. They're trying to conform the work to some anachronistic, fashionable pseudo-intellectual nonsense. I have no interest in that.

    Gianni Schicchi is an example of what Woodduck was saying about Meistersinger. It is almost mandatory to set it in Renaissance Florence, because the social context (the mule, exile, Guelf-Ghibelline conflict) and intellectual and spiritual heart of the Renaissance (Dante, the Medicis, science, art, craftsmanship) is at center of the work. This is also essential for the Trittico as a whole if it's to work properly as a three piece set, which Puccini very much intended.

    And finally, if you are going to set a Puccini opera in space, it's got to be Turandot. Turandot as an alien princess who devours her suitors while her capricious subjects pray to the moon(s)? I would watch that.
    Last edited by vivalagentenuova; Jul-17-2020 at 16:32.

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  26. #60
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivalagentenuova View Post
    And finally, if you are going to set a Puccini opera in space, it's got to be Turandot. Turandot as an alien princess who devours her suitors while her capricious subjects pray to the moon(s)? I would watch that.
    Sure. Why not? A Star-Trekky class M planet somewhere is really no more unreal a setting than the imaginary China of the libretto, and the irrationality of the characters might be deemed normal for Klingon or Ferengi types.

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