For those of you still queasy after Mary Zimmerman’s sophomoric snarknado attack on Bellini’s La Sonnambula, the new DVD of the Stuttgart Opera production by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito should provide a bracing restorative. Here is a production that takes the work very, very seriously. This is La Sonnambula via Shirley Jackson—a ghost story with an overlay of communal guilt and hints of cycles of abuse and abandonment.
The curtain rises on the common room on the ground floor of Lisa’s inn; no rustic mill, but there is a gently flowing stream visible through a rear window. It’s an ominous space lined with locked wardrobes and a heavy scattering of votive candles. Mail overflows the mailboxes and the tables are scattered about as if the previous occupants had fled in a hurry. It’s easy to believe this place is haunted. Read more »