Cher Public

a bieito in her bonnet

Doyenne of operatic tradition Montserrat Caballé offers her opinions on the art of her compatriot Calixto Bieito. (And what a very fair and balanced attitude the lady has!)

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And La Cieca herself heard from an old. old, old friend who has sung a leading role in one of Bieito’s new productions:

Calixto was a puppy dog to work with. If you saw his show, you would think “I would never do such a thing” or “what kind of person would envision such things.”  But when he asks you to “just try” x y or z, it is impossible to resist. Total sweetheart…. Real mensch.

  • armerjacquino

    Hovie: ‘Fanciulla’, obv.

  • Hovie: “Zu Grunde stürzt Grane, der Starke!”

  • jussilives

    I guess Strauss, Capriccio.

  • jussilives

    Oops sorry … I thought this was the Regie quiz!

  • Hovie

    I love this blog. :-)

  • Calpete

    I thought I caught the word “dichter” in there at one point when (I think) she was talking about hi approach to text. Was that a poetic description or was she making an actual comparison between poets and his emotional point of view? My german is so rusty.

  • ilpenedelmiocor

    Very charming, I had no idea Caballe could be so jovial. Calpete, her German is far from perfect or fluent (it’s at best a little rusty too!) so it’s a little difficult at times to figure out exactly what she’s trying to get at as she gropes for an appropriate way to get her gist across. The sentence you heard is literally “Er hat seine Idee auf ein[en] Dichter, das auch dazu Musik ist, ja?”, and then I can’t acoustically catch the rest as she chuckles, but it sounds like “Er liebet was ist da auch.” This is all pretty garbled stuff (and sorry, folks, that sounds like a very strong and fairly typical Mediterranean accent to me), but my assumption is that she means to refer to the librettist (Textdichter), or perhaps playwright (Dramatiker) or author (Schriftsteller). So, roughly translating some pretty rough German, she probably means something like “He has his own idea about the librettist/playwright/author, but there’s also music that goes along with that, of course, and he cares about that as well.” So Vanderdecken’s rendering of “He has his ideas about the text, with which music then happens to be involved as well” is really a fair and probably accurate approximation, because it’s consistent with her later comments that he treats the music in an opera like the soundtrack in a movie, where she uses the same hand gesture when referring to the “music underneath”. I think the bottom line is that he’s a “prima la parola, dopo la musica” kinda guy.

  • ilpenedelmiocor

    Er, I guess that shoulda been “prima le parole, dopo la musica” or “prima le parole e poi la musica”. My operatic Italian’s a little rusty…. :-)

  • LVPO

    Both will do, but the former is more correct. ;)

  • Graciella Scusi

    #27 ‘Groping for gist’ can be very charming and a lot of fun. Thanks for your post, it was informative and charming.

  • Bitchy Testiculi

    Beating a horse to death? I’d guess the following 3:

    1. Cosi
    2. La Straniera
    3. La Traviata