Cher Public

First installment

Our own JJ (not pictured) has finally begun to unburden himself on the subject of the recent, much-discussed “Regietournee.” For reviews of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Rusalka and Cosi fan tutte in Berlin, please go to Musical America‘s Rough and Regie. (Photo: Monkia Rittershaus)

  • bassoprofundo

    I’m not sure I get what value these reviews have. Almost none (or simply none?) of them are actually new productions. In fact, as JJ notes in his review, the Cosi is almost ten years old, and there has been a DVD release of it! What exactly is the purpose of revealing something about productions which no one cares about anymore and is part of the rep of the companies in question?

    • First off, show me that “no one cares about these productions any more.”

      Second, the point is to take a look at productions done by directors who are not working in America or England and therefore may be trying some ideas we are not familiar with here. Admittedly the Doerrie is an old production, but it’s still a far more interesting Cosi dramatically and thematically than the Met does. Is that not worth discussing?

      Another point is that a frequent criticism of Regie is that it is gimmicky and therefore it loses audience interest after a first run of performances. Here were two productions, seven and 10 years old, that actually hold up quite brilliantly as art.

      Does that answer your question, Mr. Tact?

    • Will

      The MET’s Billy Budd and Dialogues des Carmelites productions, to name just two, are both decades old and still are of enormous interest and value.

  • Will

    Another reason for being interested in a ten year old production is that art never stops — it is always developing and changing. If one is in in the arts not simply as a job but deeply committed, then a view of where a trend has come from is as important as a vision of where it is going. Regie is not just some fad that will go away when the “shock value” that some think is its only purpose has run its course. Regie is where our performing arts are today. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t — just the way pictorially really realistic productions operated.

    • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

      I agree with you and La C, Will -- and would go further to suggest that, as time passes, our own relationships, not only with art but with all sorts of things that have happened in the past, keep evolving. There is so much of our lives on which we never really close the book, lots of unfinished (or unresolved) business.

      I saw the 2001 Così, in December 2008, on a frankly humdrum night for most of those involved. All the better for La Cieca that, on this occasion, the cast (many of whom I saw) seemed well up for it. But there was plenty of food for thought in the production itself and I would gladly go again.

  • Well, I cared enough to recently view the Cosi on DVD and have plans to buy that Rusalka as soon as I can on DVD. The Cosi was very entertaining (not to mention some great singing), and, it was food for thought that perhaps the “all you need is love” generation didn’t fundamentally change anything when it comes to relationships. It’s good to laugh and wonder about that time *anytime.”

  • marcello52

    OT… I am planning on seeing Wozzeck this Wednesday at the Met. Wondering if anyone can give me some advice. Is the house packed for this Wozzeck? Would it be worth a shot to stand in line for some of the $20 orchestra tickets this? Also what time should I get there to stand in line? I usually buy tickets online so I am not sure how this process works to ensure success.

    • scifisci

      Lots of empty seats the night I saw it (the prima) and i overheard a woman saying she could get a $20 rush ticket when she got there 20 minutes before they started selling.

    • Gualtier M

      Marcello go for it. The line starts downstairs in the lower lobby. If you are not working, get there around two hours before they go on sale and bring a book. Most of the rush line people are not interested in “Wozzeck”.

      • marcello52

        Thanks Scifisci and Gualtier… I work until 4 and leave from downtown. So hopefully it works out. I would keep you posted.

  • brooklynpunk

    Thanks, La C…I always like to read reviews from folk who have ACTUALLY SEEN the productions, as you have…!



    and..Guastavo Dudelmel (sp”)….!

  • CruzSF

    Daniel Catán, RIP.

    • brooklynpunk

      Thanks for the mention, CruzSF….

      The broadcasts of his works , from LA and HOUSTON OPERAS have given me much pleasure..

      Rest in Peace, indeed…

    • luvtennis


      I absolutely loved (though perhaps I shouldn’t) Florencia en al Amazonas, Rappacini’s Daughter, and Obsidian Butterfly.

    • CruzSF

      Rumor is that Florencia en el Amazonas is coming to SFO in a couple of years (I remember hearing Gockley say this a few weeks ago at the annual meeting, but I don’t have my meeting notes with me so I won’t swear to it). I’ve heard only snippets of Catán’s work on YouTube, and I’m looking forward to seeing a full work, fully staged, of his.

      • ianw2

        Oh, I didn’t see this due to aforementioned site issue. But yes, sad. Florencia is a fabulous piece, and everyone seemed to love Postino (especially PD, who got to spend a scene with boobs).

        • Henry Holland

          I really enjoyed the Florencia production here in Los Angeles, a beautiful (and beautifully crafted) opera. Missed Il Postino due to poverty, but I’d love to hear it. I’ll go to the Florenica in SF if CruzSF is correct, I’d love to see it in the theater again.

          RIP Mr. Catán, sad news.

          • CruzSF

            That reminds me: I’ll look for my notes from the SFO annual meeting.

          • CruzSF

            Yes, Florencia is coming. So is Susannah. No dates noted, though. I was sure it was for the 2012-13 season, but I can’t be sure now. (Racette and Grimsley will be featured in Susannah.)

            Other OT items: SFO Ring is costing $24.5 million, of which just over $23 mil is raised. (Some kind of nasty shock in the last year added that $500K. Apparently, it had been planned for $24 mil.)

            Bonesetter’s Daughter headed to Vancouver Opera in a few seasons.

            And how’s this for a crazy scheme: Tosca returns in 2013-14 with Gheorghiu & Racette sharing the role. Maybe Angela will sing the Act 1 and Racette will jump in when Angela drops out?

          • Fifi Figaro

            Truly sad news. Postino, fortunately, was filmed for PBS/DVD. I’ve heard the highlights CD of Rappacini’s Daughter (gorgeous). I know there’s a CD of Florencia too, but I’ll cross my fingers that it will be filmed at some point as well.

          • CruzSF

            Any idea when PBS will broadcast it?

      • phoenix
        • CruzSF

          Thanks for this link, phoenix.

          • phoenix

            You’re welcome, Cruz — always tragedy to lose a good composer.

  • brooklynpunk


    “Salsipuedes, a Tale of Love, War, and Anchovies (2004)”..was pretty cool, as well..!

  • Well LaC gave incredibly detailed descriptions of the productions, which could give the average viewer an idea about whether it was his cup of tea or not. And since they’re productions not likely to ever make it to the U.S., they provide an interesting perspective on opera outside Lincoln Center.