It’s time for lazy stage directors and lazy sopranos to find some other gesture besides the chain of clumsy pique turns (AKA “whirling”) that is the cliché go-to opera shorthand for “joy.” Nobody but drag queens actually twirl in real life, and they’re doing it ironically. Sopranos, take note that the waltz music the orchestra is playing doesn’t really exist in your character’s reality, so there’s no need to dance all the time, even if the director can’t come up with something interesting for you do do. And it looks just plain silly for a big middle-aged woman to go pirouetting around like some eight-year-old fairy princess. Stop whirling! Read more »
Ineffable Igor Toronyi-Lalic (pictured, right) either spouts a novel canard or perhaps just froths incoherently. La Cieca will let you be the judge.
“An opera house should never apologise for being what it is, or bend to what others may want it to be. The best way to attract younger audiences to an art form that, of necessity, appeals to a discriminating élite, is to do good work, without embarrassment. That means engaging top-class conductors and singers, and hiring directors humble enough to recognise that the composer must always come first…. Let us do away with Regietheater, and the upside-down world of ‘concepts’. From Monteverdi to Mark-Anthony Turnage there is enough work for an opera house to present without recourse to the predictability of bogus radicalism. Masterpieces are not there to subvert; they are there to explore.” [The Spectator]
Oh, we’ve a veritable stew of canards to feast upon this week, cher public, courtesy of our old friend Rupert Christiansen.
“More telephone ring tones come from Bizet’s Carmen that any other opera.”
“An opera production should look the way the music sounds.” – Lady Valerie Solti
“Verdi revered Shakespeare and would turn over in his grave.”
“Is Parsifal, then, a religious artwork, or is it a work ‘about’ religion?”
“Nicholas Hytner‘s ENO production of Xerxes, unveiled on the 300th anniversary of Handel’s birth and packed with visual conceits, might be seen as marking the beginning of the modern Handel renaissance on stage.”