Cher Public

method in the madness?

Dear Addison DeWitt once said, “You have a point. An idiotic one, but a point.” Actually he didn’t say it to La Cieca, but that’s neither here nor there. Since your doyenne is what you might call pathologically determined to see both sides of every questions, she’s going to reopen the can of worms here on the “disgusting” Ballo production that just opened in Erfurt.

There’s a gallery online including over 200 images from the staging, and your doyenne has to admit that the naked oldsters in the Mickey Mouse masks don’t seem quite so arbitrary when seen in context, particularly when that context includes a rather spectacular nip slip on the part of the rather spectacular Adina Aaron. (What is it with La Cieca and the bazooms today?)

Okay, so here’s La Cieca’s attempt at what she might laughingly call exegesis. Regisseur Johann Kresnik seems to be working the angle that the “America” specified in the libretto is one of those post-apocalyptic landscapes recognizable from every bad science fiction movie made in the 1980s. While Riccardo and his court have survived with some level of luxury and privilege, everybody else in town is doing pretty poorly, e.g., crawling around in radioactive ash in the nude. The implication (which La Cieca admits she doesn’t find anywhere in the text either) is that while the rich and powerful play at their love affairs, the underprivileged are lucky to find a Disney character mask to call their own.

Like Mr. DeWitt said, the point may well be idiotic, but, well . . . it’s a point.

  • Cocky Kurwenal

    The Rite of Spring shocked because of the choreography. Credit for that particular uproar should go to Nijinsky, and not to Stravinsky as it so often erroneously does.

  • operaddict

    This director should stick with porn. He certainly resembles the sleazy, pornshop habitue. Opera is not porn…espcially Verdi. Turning it into that is an affront and a disgusting slap in the face to those of us who love opera.

  • abettel

    I’m sure the director had a “concept,” perhaps summarized correctly above. But the overriding goal is to shock and create more buzz than the other regiemeisters. Looks like it’s working.

  • The only obvious lapse in taste in this production appears to be the use of the dreadful, ubiquitous Crocs…