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Garden variety

Kasper Holten, director of the hunkalicious film Juan as well as current artistic director of Royal Danish Opera, will succeed Elaine Padmore as director of opera at the Royal Opera House starting next year. [The Stage]


  • 1
    regifida says:

    Kasper should stick to film and leave opera alone. Many musicians at the KT have complained about his lack of musical knowledge. Hopefully the next director in Copenhagen ( rumored but not yet announced) will have a solid musical background.

    • 1.1
      Billys Butt says:

      The next director in Copenhagen will be Keith Warner.

      • 1.1.1
        regifida says:

        You’re right it was announced a while back, but I had been told that it wasn’t final until a new music director had been picked. The next music director will have to have some back-bone to restore the balance in the opera. Good luck to him/her.

    • 1.2
      papopera says:

      what do the British chauvinists think of that ??

      • 1.2.1
        armerjacquino says:

        Oh the irony.

      • 1.2.2
        manou says:

        what do the British chauvinists think of that ??


          Regina delle fate says:

          Haha Manou! She avoids the opera whenever possible. During one of her Jubilee years, Glyndebourne wanted to invite her and asked her if she would like to Figaro

          Queen: Is that the one about the pin?

          Flunkey: Erm, you could say that, Ma’am.

          Queen: No, I’ve seen that one!

          Or so the legend goes. I wonder if Her Maj will dare go to the RO’s Diamond Jubilee production of Gloriana. Given that Richard Jones is directing, the Queen will probably be updated to the time of the composition -- ie QE1 will become QE2. Will the Earl of Essex be Tony Blair or David Cameron?

          • MontyNostry says:

            If Richard Jones is directing, the various palaces will have kitsch 70s wallpaper. It’s his sub-Regie leitmotif.

          papopera says:

          lèse-majesté!! ah!ah!ah!

  • 2
    pasavant says:

    He looks crazed.

    • 2.1
      La marquise de Merteuil says:

      Maybe, but La Marquise loves her some crazies!

    • 2.2
      MontyNostry says:

      The could do with a bit of craziness, if it’s inspiring craziness.

    • 2.3
      Camille says:

      All day the refrain of “Casper, the friendly Ghost”, (an American kiddie cartoon which ran for years), has been popping up into memory when contemplating this Kasper’s visage.
      I hope he’s not ghastly.

  • 3
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    I certainly hope La Cieca is out and about enjoying Europe and not just sitting there writing all of these reports and updates.

  • 4
    Belfagor says:

    I thought the word on the block in Copenhagen was that he didn’t pay nearly enough attention to his job, and was more interested in being an international director. This news doesn’t inspire confidence.

    • 4.1
      regifida says:

      “International” is the operative word. He showed himself to be ridiculous when commenting to the press that having Netrebko sing Mimi put the Opera in Copenhagen in the “Champion’s League”. Presumably he won’t be making stupid statements like that at the Royal Opera House.

      • 4.1.1
        ianw2 says:

        Why is that ridiculous? A little gauche perhaps but hardly a cardinal administrative sin.

        Copenhagen is a good provincial house. Having a star like Trebs is good PR, so of course he’s going to talk it up.

      • 4.1.2
        Alto says:

        Well the Copenhagen team — in their own attempt to go to the finals in London — was roundly defeated last week in the Champions League, so he seems to be doing better than they are.

  • 5
    MontyNostry says:

    But he’s a bit of a PR coup for the ROH. While Ms Padmore has always been a rather proper administrator, Mr Holten is an artiste. It’s quite a shift in emphasis, isn’t it? I wonder whether he would have gone along with the whole Anna Nicole hysteria.

    • 5.1
      A. Poggia Turra says:

      Mr. Holten does have a liking for Regie directors, having brought in Bieito, Herheim and Konwitschny (I saw PK’s Onegin in 2009, a co-production with Slovakian National Opera). Have either of the three above mentioned ever directed at the ROH?

      Also, per Anna Nicole, Mr. Holten seems to have had a messy personal life -- he left his wife while she was undergoing chemo for bowell cancer (she died in 2008 at age 36). Soon thereafter, he was out in public with his new squeeze, who looks uncannily like his late ex-wife.

      • 5.1.1
        MontyNostry says:

        I’m pretty sure none of those three Regie-stas have directed at the ROH. Christoph Loy is about as Regie as it gets, I think. ENO, meanwhile, is engaged in a bumpy lovefest with directors from straight theatre and film.

          regifida says:

          The worst travesty in Holten’s recent tenure was a Nabucco that involved the throwing around of blood on stage.
          The singing was exemplary(it was streamed by Danish radio, and the Parterre chat seemed to have enjoyed it), but there were many regular opera goers in Copenhagen who would have enjoyed having someone with the clout of Muti at the helm to make the visuals worthy of the musical performance. I know people who gladly would have taught Riccardo some Danish so he could have cut Kasper down to size.

      • 5.1.2
        CruzSF says:

        Sounds like a new opera, but not at the ROH (I guess).

      • 5.1.3
        Konrad Swollenrod says:

        Shades of Newt Gingrich! I hope he also isn’t a fervent convert to the Roman Catholic Church.

      • 5.1.4
        Regina delle fate says:

        Herheim is slated to do the new Vepres Siciliennes at the ROH for the Verdi year -- but that was a Padmore idea. As per usual the ROH cottons on late. But when will Herheim, Konwitschny, Bieto EVER direct at the Met or NYCO, I wonder? Surely not when you have such genii as Bartlett Sher and Mary Zimmermann to keep in gainful employment. I guess Bieto might not go down too well with the people who pay 250 quid to sit in the stalls and Konwitschny is unwell and barely moves beyond his home-town, Leipzig these days. He just did a Traviata in Graz but I missed the reviews. Unfaithful Zerbinetta may have mentioned it in a Regie thread recently…


          Jaja on the Graz Konwitschny Traviata. I liked it, very moving. It was far more simple and straightforward than his famous Don Carlos or Lohengrin (which I also love). According to the program it’s a co-production with the ENO.

          Maybe the Decker Traviata’s success at the Met will suggest that getting established European directors is a good thing?

          MontyNostry says:

          Rdf — if the ROH is going all Germanic for the planned Vepres, maybe they would like to cast house favourite Nadja Michael as Helene. (Seriously, maybe they will have the sense to get Radvanovsky in. I know she is not to everyone’s taste, but the broadcast of her Met Vespri some years ago was the best thing I’ve heard her do. It ‘converted’ me to being Rad-ical.)

          Alto says:

          Could the NYCO even *afford* such lumineries?

  • 6
    MontyNostry says:

    On the other hand, he won’t have a brand new shiny opera house to play with like he did in Copenhagen. And maybe he will stop every new production of a big repertory piece from being by David McVicar.

  • 7
    MontyNostry says:

    … and very loving (little French reference there)

  • 8
    sidessa says:

    Sidessa lovesthe gap toothed smile and thinks that Kasper is very well hung. Congrats dear Dane!

  • 9
    sidessa says:

    As Hamlet says “T’would cause you a groaning to ease my comfort”

  • 10
    Lucky Pierre says:

    i’m having an overdose of opera lately… as i walk around, i have tunes from armida, l’africaine and lucia in my brain. the only thing i’m not humming these days is boris, because i don’t know it much. did anyone else see it on thursday night? i enjoyed it very much, in spite of rene’s illness.

    and gualtier, i almost fainted when baby face security guard stuck his baton in my … hmmmm… bag. i wanted to tell him i had something dangerous in my pants, that he should inspect — but i’m very classy, so i didn’t.

    a question for the experts: on the wall of stars in the met’s lower level, there’s a picture of a handsome singer, with a painter’s brush, but it’s hard to read his name — obviously singing the part from boheme. he comes in between bartoli and before battle. who is it?

  • 11
    oedipe says:

    Ah, the irony of the random juxtaposition of topics! Here we were, discussing Bieito’s Entfuehrung and the unmasking -through Regie- of the victimization and subordination of 18th century women, even when they were being “saved” by men. And what do I see next? Life supersedes art! With all the carefully thought out violence and scatological detail, Bieito still has a hard time competing in terms of shock value with the true story of the well-connected, highly successful, “hunky” Kasper Holten, who decides to dump his dying wife for a new look-alike in better condition. Talk about the victimization of women!
    Now let’s see how the “modern”, “feminist” solutions suggested in the previous thread for Konstanze would apply in the case of Holten’s wife (abandoned to die by herself): she could get therapy; she could “do what she wants”; or she could commit suicide…Other liberated, modern suggestions, anyone?

  • 12
    iltenoredigrazia says:

    If a thousand years from now some archaeologist discovers a transcript of some of these sessions and he/she doesn’t know what we meant by “opera,” he/she would have no idea that singing was involved. How would these differ from equivalent blogs on theatre or movies?