Discussion:
Herheim Meistersinger
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Jay Kauffman
2016-05-29 18:36:22 UTC
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I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was superb
Michel Casse
2016-05-29 21:35:49 UTC
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Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
Jay Kauffman
2016-05-30 02:23:23 UTC
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Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
I thought it originated in Salzburg
Jay Kauffman
2016-05-30 02:25:46 UTC
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Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
So sorry you are right Vienna
Jay Kauffman
2016-05-30 02:31:14 UTC
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Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
So sorry you are right Vienna
No I was right - it was Salzburg with the Vienna phil and chorus
Michel Casse
2016-05-30 18:31:44 UTC
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Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
So sorry you are right Vienna
No I was right - it was Salzburg with the Vienna phil and chorus
You are perfectly right. I mixed up location and orchestre. Sorry. The production is nevertheless a very good one. And in Paris the director was Philippe Jordan and not Gatti.
Richard Partridge
2016-05-30 15:25:27 UTC
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Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
This sounded good so I looked it up on Amazon, and came across this comment:

"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."


Dick Partridge
Jay Kauffman
2016-05-30 17:25:02 UTC
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Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-05-31 00:02:58 UTC
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Post by Jay Kauffman
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
I've seen this, but not under the best conditions. I liked aspects of it, the desk and dream concepts particularly, baulked at some of the cutesiness -- and at Herheim's deflation of it with the obligatory porn content -- but in the end I decided it was just another diminution of Wagner's original. I could stand it but that's chiefly because it's so much better and more intelligent than messes like Katarina's at Bayreuth -- the lesser of two weevils, as it were. I also much prefer the Glyndebourne staging, but of course I'm biased.

Cheers,

Mike
Jay Kauffman
2016-05-31 01:07:49 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Jay Kauffman
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
I've seen this, but not under the best conditions. I liked aspects of it, the desk and dream concepts particularly, baulked at some of the cutesiness -- and at Herheim's deflation of it with the obligatory porn content -- but in the end I decided it was just another diminution of Wagner's original. I could stand it but that's chiefly because it's so much better and more intelligent than messes like Katarina's at Bayreuth -- the lesser of two weevils, as it were. I also much prefer the Glyndebourne staging, but of course I'm biased.
Cheers,
Mike
I just picked up the Glyndebourne on Blu-ray will see it later this week
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-06-05 13:44:39 UTC
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Coming back to Herheim for a moment, it does look good compared to most of the rest of what's going around -- not just the usual Bayreuth mess, but almost every other European staging, and German especially. Just have a look at the kind of things that come up on Youtube -- the Bayerisches Staatsoper's trailer for their production, for example. Would you believe Jonas Kaufmann in an electric chair? And...no, look for yourselves. If you can stand it.

Mike
Richard Partridge
2016-06-05 19:01:30 UTC
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On 6/5/16 9:44 AM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Coming back to Herheim for a moment, it does look good compared to most of the
rest of what's going around -- not just the usual Bayreuth mess, but almost
every other European staging, and German especially. Just have a look at the
kind of things that come up on Youtube -- the Bayerisches Staatsoper's trailer
for their production, for example. Would you believe Jonas Kaufmann in an
electric chair? And...no, look for yourselves. If you can stand it.
Mike
Looking at Bayreuth and most of the other German productions of operas and
particularly Wagner's operas made me think that German artistic sense was
hopelessly deranged by the Nazi experience and would not regain sanity in my
lifetime. Then I watched the German movie, "The Lives of Others," which is
unbelievably good and thoroughly deserves all the prizes it won.


Dick Partridge
Jay Kauffman
2016-06-05 23:35:35 UTC
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Post by Richard Partridge
On 6/5/16 9:44 AM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Coming back to Herheim for a moment, it does look good compared to most of the
rest of what's going around -- not just the usual Bayreuth mess, but almost
every other European staging, and German especially. Just have a look at the
kind of things that come up on Youtube -- the Bayerisches Staatsoper's trailer
for their production, for example. Would you believe Jonas Kaufmann in an
electric chair? And...no, look for yourselves. If you can stand it.
Mike
Looking at Bayreuth and most of the other German productions of operas and
particularly Wagner's operas made me think that German artistic sense was
hopelessly deranged by the Nazi experience and would not regain sanity in my
lifetime. Then I watched the German movie, "The Lives of Others," which is
unbelievably good and thoroughly deserves all the prizes it won.
Dick Partridge
Why would you think e.g. Wielands productions were at all deranged by the Nazi experience - for me its the last 20 years that for some reason have seen these ridiculous productions
Richard Partridge
2016-06-06 19:30:57 UTC
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Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
On 6/5/16 9:44 AM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Coming back to Herheim for a moment, it does look good compared to most of the
rest of what's going around -- not just the usual Bayreuth mess, but almost
every other European staging, and German especially. Just have a look at the
kind of things that come up on Youtube -- the Bayerisches Staatsoper's trailer
for their production, for example. Would you believe Jonas Kaufmann in an
electric chair? And...no, look for yourselves. If you can stand it.
Mike
Looking at Bayreuth and most of the other German productions of operas and
particularly Wagner's operas made me think that German artistic sense was
hopelessly deranged by the Nazi experience and would not regain sanity in my
lifetime. Then I watched the German movie, "The Lives of Others," which is
unbelievably good and thoroughly deserves all the prizes it won.
Dick Partridge
Why would you think e.g. Wielands productions were at all deranged by the Nazi
experience - for me its the last 20 years that for some reason have seen these
ridiculous productions
I'm not close enough to German art to have much of an opinion about this.
All I know is that ever since the end of the war I've seen German movies
that were hopeless atrocities. Opera productions took longer to be affected
but now, and for quite a while now, they have been uniformly ridiculous. I
don't know that the Nazi experience and losing the war were responsible, but
I don't know what else to blame it on.

(One other exception, by the way: "Das Boot" was very good.)


Dick Partridge
A.C. Douglas
2016-06-08 20:43:23 UTC
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I, too, would suggest it was Wieland who started the Eurotrash rot.

The following is extracted from a 2005 S&F piece titled "Elegy" (http://tinyurl.com/cf2jg):

=== Begin Quote ===
From its very beginnings, the Bayreuther Festspiele gave pride of place not to the music-makers (until the 1930s, for instance, the conductor's name was not even listed on the playbill nor in the program book, and he had no say whatsoever in the shaping of the productions in which he took part), but to the producer, stage manager, and director; all three roles filled originally by Wagner himself.

Is it any wonder, then, that Regietheater would ultimately find a natural home within the Bayreuther Festspiele?

And who was the very first there to break totally with Bayreuth tradition and Wagner's original stagings of his works and replace them entirely with his own? None other than Wagner's grandson, the hugely gifted producer, stage designer, and director, Wieland Wagner.

Part of Wieland's impetus for this staging change was to attempt to cleanse Wagner's works and Bayreuth generally of their shameful association with Hitler and the Third Reich. But an at least equal part of that impetus was Wieland's embracing of Modernist sensibilities and aesthetics and his embarrassment at his grandfather's hyper-Romanticism, Romanticism being, of course, Modernism's very antithesis. That embracing of anti-Romantic, Modernist sensibilities and aesthetics in the arts was shared by most artists of Wieland's generation and anti-Romanticism in the arts continues to this very day where "Romantic" is regularly hurled at both artworks and artists as a pejorative of the most damning sort. In fact, one has to look not much beyond that to explain the present-day license to butcher and the proliferation of the butchering of pre-20th-century opera and particularly opera of the 19th century by today's Konzept (i.e., Eurotrash) Regietheater opera directors.

Wieland's so-called New Bayreuth production of the Ring — first presented in 1951 and subsequently each succeeding year thereafter through 1958 (and about which I here write as firsthand witness, Wieland's staging of Die Walküre still being for me the most perfect staging of that work of my experience) — was Regietheater at its best and set a new standard for Wagner productions worldwide, showing what could be done by the use of inspired modern stagecraft in the service of Wagner's own idealized dramatic vision, that last being the key to this production's great artistic success.

With Wieland taking his (unacknowledged) cue from the groundbreaking work of the brilliant Swiss stage designer Adolphe Appia (1862-1928), the production's almost total absence of stage furniture, its use of non-period-or-place-committal costumes and settings, and the creative use of lighting to model and shape space and the characters who inhabit it, Wieland — taking his grandfather at his word when in 1853 he declared that the yet unwritten music of the Ring "shall sound in a way that people shall hear what they cannot see" — created a neutral "frame" or "matrix" for the tetralogy, so to speak, that permitted the music itself, working in tandem with the text and the audience's own imagination, to fill in all the missing stage furniture as if it all were right in front of the audience's eyes. It was a masterstroke, a stroke of genius even, as it made manifest to the audience in the most intimate, Werktreue way imaginable Richard Wagner's deepest interior vision of the Ring while rendering Wieland's properly transparent.

Unhappily, this wasn't to last. Along with Wagner's physiognomy, Wieland inherited as well Wagner's monstrous ego, and it wasn't long before he began not only to replace Wagner's original stagings with his own, but Wagner's original idealized vision as well, and thus did Regietheater as Eurotrash first begin to insinuate itself within the Bayreuther Festspiele where it still reigns supreme to this very day influencing Wagner productions everywhere.
=== End Quote ===

ACD
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-06-09 23:55:58 UTC
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Post by A.C. Douglas
I, too, would suggest it was Wieland who started the Eurotrash rot.
Thank you for the quote, which which I can only agree, at least as applies to the Wagners. New Bayreuth was a product of a certain genius, indeed, though as John Culshaw points out, it was also a matter of budget, and there were other influences at work also. But there came a point at which the balance between Wieland and Richard shifted; one might argue when it was, and more likely it was very gradual. In the end it was as you say.

However, while Wieland can certainly shoulder a lot of the blame, similar forces were at work elsewhere, and some of them were undoubtedly those other influences I mentioned. One example, less familiar to Americans perhaps but a major part of European theatre history, was the very young Peter Brook's notorious Covent Garden staging of Salome in 1949, with Ljuba Welitsch and designs by Salvador Dali; it could quite easily be mounted as a Eurotrash production today. It made a sensation across Europe, and Wieland could hardly have been unaware. (The stagehands hated it so much that without orders they smashed up the sets to make sure it couldn't be revived...) And Brook in his turn was undoubtedly influenced by Brecht, a "first-rate theatrical pimp" as one UK director called him, accurately to my mind. Brecht's entirely cynical habit of rewriting classics into ideological posturing and anti-naturalist gestures, such as Farquhar's enjoyable Recruiting Sargent into the "Trumpets and Drums", was also a blueprint for the deformative processes of today's directors. It took such a hold in Germany, especially of course the East (although Brecht was careful to live in West Berlin...), that his versions have eclipsed the originals. As I've mentioned before, when two leading directors were invited to Britain to stage Shakespeare's Coriolanus, they arrived expecting to stage Brecht's Coriolan -- the Shakespeare they'd never even heard of! (They did it, though, and I have to admit it was rather good thanks to the young Anthony Hopkins.) And Brecht, of course, was at that time, conveniently, an impeccably politically correct influence, whose supposed resistance to Hitler people lauded while ignoring his slavish toadying to Stalin. Drawing on Brecht underlined Wieland's disassociation from the old regime, and allegiance to what was then the new and revolutionary. So while Wieland can be blamed for much of Eurotrash, Brecht for me is its evil progenitor.

Cheers,

Mike
Herman van der Woude
2016-06-10 07:55:59 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by A.C. Douglas
I, too, would suggest it was Wieland who started the Eurotrash rot.
Thank you for the quote, which which I can only agree, at least as applies to
the Wagners. New Bayreuth was a product of a certain genius, indeed, though
as John Culshaw points out, it was also a matter of budget, and there were
other influences at work also. But there came a point at which the balance
between Wieland and Richard shifted; one might argue when it was, and more
likely it was very gradual. In the end it was as you say.
However, while Wieland can certainly shoulder a lot of the blame, similar
forces were at work elsewhere, and some of them were undoubtedly those other
influences I mentioned. One example, less familiar to Americans perhaps but a
major part of European theatre history, was the very young Peter Brook's
notorious Covent Garden staging of Salome in 1949, with Ljuba Welitsch and
designs by Salvador Dali; it could quite easily be mounted as a Eurotrash
production today. It made a sensation across Europe, and Wieland could hardly
have been unaware. (The stagehands hated it so much that without orders they
smashed up the sets to make sure it couldn't be revived...) And Brook in his
turn was undoubtedly influenced by Brecht, a "first-rate theatrical pimp" as
one UK director called him, accurately to my mind. Brecht's entirely cynical
habit of rewriting classics into ideological posturing and anti-naturalist
gestures, such as Farquhar's enjoyable Recruiting Sargent into the "Trumpets
and Drums", was also a blueprint for the deformative processes of today's
directors. It took such a hold in Germany, especially of course the East
(although Brecht was careful to live in West Berlin...), that his versions
have eclipsed the originals. As I've mentioned before, when two leading
directors were invited to Britain to stage Shakespeare's Coriolanus, they
arrived expecting to stage Brecht's Coriolan -- the Shakespeare they'd never
even heard of! (They did it, though, and I have to admit it was rather good
thanks to the young Anthony Hopkins.) And Brecht, of course, was at that
time, conveniently, an impeccably politically correct influence, whose
supposed resistance to Hitler people lauded while ignoring his slavish
toadying to Stalin. Drawing on Brecht underlined Wieland's disassociation
from the old regime, and allegiance to what was then the new and
revolutionary. So while Wieland can be blamed for much of Eurotrash, Brecht
for me is its evil progenitor.
Cheers,
Mike
Some remarks on Brecht (little correction or addition). Brecht never
lived in West-Berlin after the war. Before the war he fled from Germany
in exile in fear of being prosecuted by Nazi justice for his communist
believes. He took refuge at first in Denmark, later in the USA. During
World War II he lived in exile in the USA, but fled in 1947 when he was
accused of 'communist activities'. He found at first a stay in
Switzerland, as he was not permitted entrance in the American zone of
occupied Germany.
In 1949 he became a citizen of East-Berlin (not West-Berlin, Mike),
then proclaimed as 'Berlin, Capital of the German Democratic Republic'
(shortly GDR, DDR). He became one of its most famous inhabitants and he
was granted a house in Weissensee, then a Berlin neighbourhood for the
elite of the GDR. He had his fame as a real anti-fascist, which he was
as we already know. At the same time he was not only a 'socialist' as
the communists described themselves, but a great believer in Stalinism.
When confronted with the show processes in the USSR, which took an
immense toll of human lives, he only replied, "the more innocent they
are, the more they deserve to die".
During the demonstrations of the workers in East-Berlin in 1953, he
sent a telegram to the Soviet military commander to thank him for the
Russian 'help' and he wrote a long piece in the socialist party paper
'Neues Deutschland' (New Germany) praising the 'socialist' (communist)
government of the GDR.
Not a pleasant man who was rewarded the Stalin Prize for Peace shortly
before his death in 1955, 58 years old.
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-06-11 00:31:43 UTC
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Post by Herman van der Woude
Mike
Some remarks on Brecht (little correction or addition). Brecht never
lived in West-Berlin after the war. Before the war he fled from Germany
in exile in fear of being prosecuted by Nazi justice for his communist
believes. He took refuge at first in Denmark, later in the USA. During
World War II he lived in exile in the USA, but fled in 1947 when he was
accused of 'communist activities'. He found at first a stay in
Switzerland, as he was not permitted entrance in the American zone of
occupied Germany.
In 1949 he became a citizen of East-Berlin (not West-Berlin, Mike),
then proclaimed as 'Berlin, Capital of the German Democratic Republic'
(shortly GDR, DDR). He became one of its most famous inhabitants and he
was granted a house in Weissensee, then a Berlin neighbourhood for the
elite of the GDR. He had his fame as a real anti-fascist, which he was
as we already know. At the same time he was not only a 'socialist' as
the communists described themselves, but a great believer in Stalinism.
When confronted with the show processes in the USSR, which took an
immense toll of human lives, he only replied, "the more innocent they
are, the more they deserve to die".
During the demonstrations of the workers in East-Berlin in 1953, he
sent a telegram to the Soviet military commander to thank him for the
Russian 'help' and he wrote a long piece in the socialist party paper
'Neues Deutschland' (New Germany) praising the 'socialist' (communist)
government of the GDR.
Not a pleasant man who was rewarded the Stalin Prize for Peace shortly
before his death in 1955, 58 years old.
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Hmm. Well, Herman, I've no quarrel with your general view of Brecht. But I feel that, unpleasant as it shows him, it still gives him too much credit.

I had understood he did indeed live on the safe side of the line, like other East Berlin artistic figures such as Walther Felsenstein (who, though not a Eurotrash merchant himself, fostered many who were). Sorry if I'm wrong; I shall have to look it up. But he definitely insulated himself entirely from the realities of East German life, as much as if he did. He fled Nazi tyranny, but was all too willing to toady to its Soviet-backed equivalent, for the price of a luxurious lifestyle. You say that he became a citizen of East Berlin. As I understood it, by arrangement with the government he was allowed to retain his Austrian nationality. Not only that, but he also was allowed to maintain various accounts in foreign banks through which he received a regular western-currency income from his royalties, administered by a low-tax holding company in Switzerland. He also was allotted a car and government fuel ration -- vanishingly rare at the time -- and had his "proletarian" clothes made by expensive West Berlin tailors, so he evidently went back and forth quite freely.

And I'm afraid, while his "anti-fascist" credentials understandably appealed to the wartime generation, I'm not overly impressed by them. He mocked Hitler freely enough, but did little material to resist him. All Brecht did was push off to travel in comfortable foreign capitals, before settling to comfortable exile in Sweden and the USA. Other people protested and eventually fought and died; all Brecht did was make noises from a safe distance. Of course many others, such as Benjamin Britten, W.H.Auden and Fritz Lang, also found it curiously convenient to head for the USA at that time, but they didn't claim quite such heroic credentials for it. Brecht was ready enough to lambast Hollywood, which had given him a considerable welcome and high income, but in fact those who knew him said he was wholly at home with the lifestyle, and left only when he was forced to. He was indeed accused of communist activities, but unlike many others such he agreed to testify to the Unamerican Activities committee, on the excuse that he didn't want to delay a trip to Europe; the committee praised him for his cooperation.

Of course he could be even more unpleasant and still artistically important --although I personally doubt whether any truly great art can ever be generated by such a dearth of basic humanity. But I don't feel he was a genuine pioneer, either. Much of his theatrical ideology was generated by his political agenda, and the theatrical boldness of his work feels to me as if it was calculated to avoid awkwardnesses like balance, insight or truth -- a screaming poster to conceal the lack of a genuine image. And testimony in recent years suggests that, under the guise of his theories of "collective experiment", much of his actual wordage was in fact written by other people, notably the strings of women in his life. The sharp apparent creative decline of his Berlin years, often attributed to soft living, supports this. So I find very little reason to take him at all seriously in artistic terms!

Cheers,

Mike
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-06-16 19:16:01 UTC
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Post by Herman van der Woude
Some remarks on Brecht (little correction or addition). Brecht never
lived in West-Berlin after the war.
Herman, you were indeed right about that, and thanks for setting me right. I think I got the wrong impression about where the Wall went in the Chausseestrasse relative to the Brecht-Weigel house. I was only in East Berlin once before the Wall came down, and that for less than a day (quite enough), and not by the Chausseestrasse checkpoint. I may also have got mixed up with his country house (or rather estate of houses and a tower!) in Buckow, assuming it was in the West -- it looks too pleasant!

I read about them in John Fuegi's Life & Lies of Bertolt Brecht, which was an eyeopener even on someone I already disliked for his work. I'd long ago appeared in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, found it amusing but thin, and then saw The Exception and the Rule, and Threepenny Opera, and got more and more bored and curdled. When I started seeing regular Berlin theatre performances, the dead hand of Brecht seemed to be increasing its grip, if anything, and infecting opera in the same fashion. When the earnest political literalism became embarrassing after the fall of the GDR, only the shallow and mannered gestures remained, filled out with shock effect and scattergun pop-art imagery. And thus was born Eurotrash such as this:



Which just reeks of Brecht! And hence my hymn of hate ;-)

Cheers,

Mike
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-07-01 13:07:05 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Which just reeks of Brecht! And hence my hymn of hate ;-)
Reading a collection of essays on opera in the media (vilely deconstructionist!) I came across Brecht's view of opera:

"We see entire rows of human beings transported into a peculiar doped state, wholly passive...helpless and involuntary victims of the unchecked lurching of their emotions, Trickles of sweat prove how such excess exhaust them. The worst gangster film treats its audience more like thinking beings. Music is cast in the role of Fate. As the exceedingly complex, wholly unanalysable fate of this period of the grisliest, most deliberate exploitation of man by man. Such music has nothing but purely culinary ambitions left. It seduces the listener into an enervating, because unproductive, act of enjoyment. No number of refinememnts can convince me that its social function is any different from that of the Broadway burlesque."

With an attitude like that, it's no wonder what his followers have done to opera producrion. It certainly seems to underlie most Eurotrash productions. In its sneering superiority, assumption that audiences must be reduced to drooling mindlessness, and po-faced revulsion at anything as vulgar as enjoyment, this reminds me strongly of how puritans in various eras have denounced everything from Shakespearian theatre to jazz. Desperate for some moral or intellectual high ground? Easy! Find something people enjoy and denounce it!

Brecht saw opera as the acme of the "bourgeois theatre of involvement", and certainly involvement is something the Eurotrash orthodoxy -- and orthodoxy it most certainly is -- strives valiantly to avoid.

Cheers,

Mike
w***@gmail.com
2016-07-01 21:37:44 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Which just reeks of Brecht! And hence my hymn of hate ;-)
"We see entire rows of human beings transported into a peculiar doped state, wholly passive...helpless and involuntary victims of the unchecked lurching of their emotions, Trickles of sweat prove how such excess exhaust them. The worst gangster film treats its audience more like thinking beings. Music is cast in the role of Fate. As the exceedingly complex, wholly unanalysable fate of this period of the grisliest, most deliberate exploitation of man by man. Such music has nothing but purely culinary ambitions left. It seduces the listener into an enervating, because unproductive, act of enjoyment. No number of refinememnts can convince me that its social function is any different from that of the Broadway burlesque."
With an attitude like that, it's no wonder what his followers have done to opera producrion. It certainly seems to underlie most Eurotrash productions. In its sneering superiority, assumption that audiences must be reduced to drooling mindlessness, and po-faced revulsion at anything as vulgar as enjoyment, this reminds me strongly of how puritans in various eras have denounced everything from Shakespearian theatre to jazz. Desperate for some moral or intellectual high ground? Easy! Find something people enjoy and denounce it!
Brecht saw opera as the acme of the "bourgeois theatre of involvement", and certainly involvement is something the Eurotrash orthodoxy -- and orthodoxy it most certainly is -- strives valiantly to avoid.
Cheers,
Mike
A person I would definitely think twice about inviting to a dinner party
w***@gmail.com
2016-07-01 22:33:52 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Which just reeks of Brecht! And hence my hymn of hate ;-)
"We see entire rows of human beings transported into a peculiar doped state, wholly passive...helpless and involuntary victims of the unchecked lurching of their emotions, Trickles of sweat prove how such excess exhaust them. The worst gangster film treats its audience more like thinking beings. Music is cast in the role of Fate. As the exceedingly complex, wholly unanalysable fate of this period of the grisliest, most deliberate exploitation of man by man. Such music has nothing but purely culinary ambitions left. It seduces the listener into an enervating, because unproductive, act of enjoyment. No number of refinememnts can convince me that its social function is any different from that of the Broadway burlesque."
With an attitude like that, it's no wonder what his followers have done to opera producrion. It certainly seems to underlie most Eurotrash productions. In its sneering superiority, assumption that audiences must be reduced to drooling mindlessness, and po-faced revulsion at anything as vulgar as enjoyment, this reminds me strongly of how puritans in various eras have denounced everything from Shakespearian theatre to jazz. Desperate for some moral or intellectual high ground? Easy! Find something people enjoy and denounce it!
Brecht saw opera as the acme of the "bourgeois theatre of involvement", and certainly involvement is something the Eurotrash orthodoxy -- and orthodoxy it most certainly is -- strives valiantly to avoid.
Cheers,
Mike
Just finished reading Wagner and the Wonder of Art (an intro to Die Meistersinger) a wonderful book by Fth M Owen Lee. Short but very interesting discussion on the structure and meaning - he also quickly and efficiently debunks the ideas of anti-Semitism in Beckmessers character and those pesky lines in Sachs final address. Nothing like a little common sense to clear the air.
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-07-03 02:36:40 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
Just finished reading Wagner and the Wonder of Art (an intro to Die Meistersinger) a wonderful book by Fth M Owen Lee. Short but very interesting discussion on the structure and meaning - he also quickly and efficiently debunks the ideas of anti-Semitism in Beckmessers character and those pesky lines in Sachs final address. Nothing like a little common sense to clear the air.
Yes, indeed. I had a few words to say on those lines myself in an article in Opera magazine a few years ago -- got royally roasted for it, but as you say it clears the air. I notice people are much readier to actually read them in context now, so maybe times are changing.

Cheers,

Mike
w***@gmail.com
2016-07-04 01:34:26 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by w***@gmail.com
Just finished reading Wagner and the Wonder of Art (an intro to Die Meistersinger) a wonderful book by Fth M Owen Lee. Short but very interesting discussion on the structure and meaning - he also quickly and efficiently debunks the ideas of anti-Semitism in Beckmessers character and those pesky lines in Sachs final address. Nothing like a little common sense to clear the air.
Yes, indeed. I had a few words to say on those lines myself in an article in Opera magazine a few years ago -- got royally roasted for it, but as you say it clears the air. I notice people are much readier to actually read them in context now, so maybe times are changing.
Cheers,
Mike
No question - your detailed explanation of the historical meanings in those lines should be enough to silence any listener who still thinks the lines are in any way offensive -------if only!!!!!
A.C. Douglas
2016-06-10 09:49:50 UTC
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Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Drawing on Brecht underlined Wieland's disassociation from the old
regime, and allegiance to what was then the new and revolutionary. So
while Wieland can be blamed for much of Eurotrash, Brecht for me is its
evil progenitor.
For me as well. The contemptible Brecht has regularly been a target of mine on S&F in connection with Eurotrash Regietheater, especially in connection with Regietheater Wagner which Regietheater stagings have been something of an _idée fixe_ of mine on S&F since the blog's inception. The Brechtian aesthetic is the very antithesis of the Wagnerian and has no place whatsoever in the staging of Wagner's stageworks.

ACD
Richard Partridge
2016-06-10 15:17:03 UTC
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On 6/9/16 7:55 PM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by A.C. Douglas
I, too, would suggest it was Wieland who started the Eurotrash rot.
Thank you for the quote, which which I can only agree, at least as applies to
the Wagners. New Bayreuth was a product of a certain genius, indeed, though as
John Culshaw points out, it was also a matter of budget, and there were other
influences at work also. But there came a point at which the balance between
Wieland and Richard shifted; one might argue when it was, and more likely it
was very gradual. In the end it was as you say.
However, while Wieland can certainly shoulder a lot of the blame, similar
forces were at work elsewhere, and some of them were undoubtedly those other
influences I mentioned. One example, less familiar to Americans perhaps but a
major part of European theatre history, was the very young Peter Brook's
notorious Covent Garden staging of Salome in 1949, with Ljuba Welitsch and
designs by Salvador Dali; it could quite easily be mounted as a Eurotrash
production today. It made a sensation across Europe, and Wieland could hardly
have been unaware. (The stagehands hated it so much that without orders they
smashed up the sets to make sure it couldn't be revived...) And Brook in his
turn was undoubtedly influenced by Brecht, a "first-rate theatrical pimp" as
one UK director called him, accurately to my mind. Brecht's entirely cynical
habit of rewriting classics into ideological posturing and anti-naturalist
gestures, such as Farquhar's enjoyable Recruiting Sargent into the "Trumpets
and Drums", was also a blueprint for the deformative processes of today's
directors. It took such a hold in Germany, especially of course the East
(although Brecht was careful to live in West Berlin...), that his versions
have eclipsed the originals. As I've mentioned before, when two leading
directors were invited to Britain to stage Shakespeare's Coriolanus, they
arrived expecting to stage Brecht's Coriolan -- the Shakespeare they'd never
even heard of! (They did it, though, and I have to admit it was rather good
thanks to the young Anthony Hopkins.) And Brecht, of course, was at that time,
conveniently, an impeccably politically correct influence, whose supposed
resistance to Hitler people lauded while ignoring his slavish toadying to
Stalin. Drawing on Brecht underlined Wieland's disassociation from the old
regime, and allegiance to what was then the new and revolutionary. So while
Wieland can be blamed for much of Eurotrash, Brecht for me is its evil
progenitor.
Cheers,
Mike
It's interesting to learn this about Brecht. The only work of his I know at
all is the "Drei Groschen Oper."


Dick Partridge
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-06-07 13:47:11 UTC
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Post by Jay Kauffman
Why would you think e.g. Wielands productions were at all deranged by the Nazi experience - for me its the last 20 years that for some reason have seen these ridiculous productions
I would suggest, myself, that it was Wieland who started the rot, especially with two of his Meistersinger productions -- the "Meistersinger ohne Nuremberg" one, harmless as it now seems, and the much less harmless "street theatre" one, in which he subverted all the central themes, so that the Mastersingers were pompous irrelevances, Walther and Eva selfish young yuppies, and nobody paid much heed to Sachs. These and similar productions were prompted by Wieland's eagerness to disassociate Wagner, and of course himself, from the Nazis, and also from what was then seen as stale and conservative styles, to keep up with the "straight" theatre, then already under the leaden ideological hand pf Brecht. It probably never occurred to him that there was a danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but that, of course, is what his successors did. His minor disregard of Wagner's stage directions became a license for major or downright total disregard; his rethinking of the characters set a precedent for massive distortion -- above all, for not accepting Wagner as he was, but trying to make him into something else more politically correct. or just sending him up to keep a bourgeois audience giggling, and make them feel they're being presented with some sort of insight.

Mike
Richard Partridge
2016-06-07 19:36:09 UTC
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On 6/7/16 9:47 AM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Jay Kauffman
Why would you think e.g. Wielands productions were at all deranged by the
Nazi experience - for me its the last 20 years that for some reason have seen
these ridiculous productions
I would suggest, myself, that it was Wieland who started the rot, especially
with two of his Meistersinger productions -- the "Meistersinger ohne
Nuremberg" one, harmless as it now seems, and the much less harmless "street
theatre" one, in which he subverted all the central themes, so that the
Mastersingers were pompous irrelevances, Walther and Eva selfish young
yuppies, and nobody paid much heed to Sachs. These and similar productions
were prompted by Wieland's eagerness to disassociate Wagner, and of course
himself, from the Nazis, and also from what was then seen as stale and
conservative styles, to keep up with the "straight" theatre, then already
under the leaden ideological hand pf Brecht. It probably never occurred to him
that there was a danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but that,
of course, is what his successors did. His minor disregard of Wagner's stage
directions became a license for major or downright total disregard; his
rethinking of the characters set a precedent for massive distortion -- above
all, for not accepting Wagner as he was, but trying to make him into something
else more politically correct. or just sending him up to keep a bourgeois
audience giggling, and make them feel they're being presented with some sort
of insight.
Mike
I agree with that, though I would not be able to express it so well.


Dick Partridge
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-06-08 16:40:01 UTC
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Post by Richard Partridge
I agree with that, though I would not be able to express it so well.
Dick Partridge
Well, thanks, though I think everyone here expresses themselves pretty well, and you're no exception! But of course I don't want to overstate the case. Wieland had a point, in that it was necessary for any number of reasons -- not just Nazi associations -- to break away from the old style, as Siegfried had already, more cautiously, done. Wieland seems to have had the talent to make it work, although the only Wieland productions I've actually seen, admittedly after his death, often seemed a bit skimpy. But the Wieland style sacrificed too much and too casually, giving a horde of lesser producers license to unleash their own mediocre egos. That's also Wieland's legacy.

Cheers,

Mike
Richard Partridge
2016-05-31 15:07:24 UTC
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Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.


Dick Partridge
Jay Kauffman
2016-05-31 16:06:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
Even in the Bacchanal in Tannhauser???? In any case my only objection was that you chose one review from Amazon to make your decision rather than quite a few detailed reviews you could easily find which discussed the pros and cons of the production in great detail, I didn't like all of it but I did like a lot of it e.g the depiction of Beckmesser.
Richard Partridge
2016-06-01 19:58:02 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
Even in the Bacchanal in Tannhauser???? In any case my only objection was that
you chose one review from Amazon to make your decision rather than quite a few
detailed reviews you could easily find which discussed the pros and cons of
the production in great detail, I didn't like all of it but I did like a lot
of it e.g the depiction of Beckmesser.
I didn't think of the Bacchanal in Tannhauser. I have to admit, showing
sexual intercourse on stage, if it were done right, could have a place in a
successful production of that opera. But not in Meistersinger, surely.

The reason I didn't need more than one review from Amazon to make up my mind
about the Herheim production is that I rely on it only for the fact that
sexual intercourse is shown on stage. I don't know or care whether the
reviewer who provided that information liked the production or not. Nor do
I care how many dozens or thousands of other viewers may think it was a
swell production despite, or because of, the sex on stage.


Dick Partridge
Jay Kauffman
2016-06-01 20:08:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
Even in the Bacchanal in Tannhauser???? In any case my only objection was that
you chose one review from Amazon to make your decision rather than quite a few
detailed reviews you could easily find which discussed the pros and cons of
the production in great detail, I didn't like all of it but I did like a lot
of it e.g the depiction of Beckmesser.
I didn't think of the Bacchanal in Tannhauser. I have to admit, showing
sexual intercourse on stage, if it were done right, could have a place in a
successful production of that opera. But not in Meistersinger, surely.
The reason I didn't need more than one review from Amazon to make up my mind
about the Herheim production is that I rely on it only for the fact that
sexual intercourse is shown on stage. I don't know or care whether the
reviewer who provided that information liked the production or not. Nor do
I care how many dozens or thousands of other viewers may think it was a
swell production despite, or because of, the sex on stage.
Dick Partridge
If it makes you feel any better but it probably won't - it wasn't real sexual intercourse - it was a lot of fairy tale and other mythic characters. Unfortunately, and I think Mike would agree, such goings on seem to happening with some frequency. Just wondering - would you object to such events as a way to depict the dissolute corruption of the Dukes court in Rigoletto. It has been done - I also saw a production where the Duke stripped off in Act Three till he was nude and headed to Gilda where we know what was going to happen.
Richard Partridge
2016-06-02 18:47:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years
will
NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris
and
that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
Even in the Bacchanal in Tannhauser???? In any case my only objection was that
you chose one review from Amazon to make your decision rather than quite a few
detailed reviews you could easily find which discussed the pros and cons of
the production in great detail, I didn't like all of it but I did like a lot
of it e.g the depiction of Beckmesser.
I didn't think of the Bacchanal in Tannhauser. I have to admit, showing
sexual intercourse on stage, if it were done right, could have a place in a
successful production of that opera. But not in Meistersinger, surely.
The reason I didn't need more than one review from Amazon to make up my mind
about the Herheim production is that I rely on it only for the fact that
sexual intercourse is shown on stage. I don't know or care whether the
reviewer who provided that information liked the production or not. Nor do
I care how many dozens or thousands of other viewers may think it was a
swell production despite, or because of, the sex on stage.
Dick Partridge
If it makes you feel any better but it probably won't - it wasn't real sexual
intercourse - it was a lot of fairy tale and other mythic characters.
Unfortunately, and I think Mike would agree, such goings on seem to happening
with some frequency. Just wondering - would you object to such events as a way
to depict the dissolute corruption of the Dukes court in Rigoletto. It has
been done - I also saw a production where the Duke stripped off in Act Three
till he was nude and headed to Gilda where we know what was going to happen.
I think if it's done right, using sex that way could be successful. I'm
thinking of the orgy scene in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut." (The way
he filmed it originally had to be toned down, shortening some scenes, to
avoid an "X" rating in America -- regrettable, but what can you do.) I'd be
skeptical, though, that it would be done right, considering the crazy things
opera producers do these days. I've got nothing against pornography, but
most operas are not going to be improved by adding some pornography. I love
honeydew melons, and I'm fond of chocolate sauce, but I wouldn't put
chocolate sauce on a melon. (Though nowadays I'll bet some restaurants
would.)


Dick Partridge
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-06-03 18:17:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jay Kauffman
If it makes you feel any better but it probably won't - it wasn't real sexual intercourse - it was a lot of fairy tale and other mythic characters.
Can still get up to a remarkable amount. In a Covent Garden Tannhauser of a few years ago the swan was...embodied is probably the best term, by a male dancer with its body around his waist and its neck sticking up in front. What he and the other dancers, also male, got up to with that neck at the dress rehearsal caused the then administrator, John Tooley I think, to dictate that either the swan went or the curtain wasn't going up. Personally I thought the effect was remarkably like those inflatable swimming rings little kids wear. Take me to your Leda....
Post by Jay Kauffman
happening with some frequency. Just wondering - would you object to such >events as a way to depict the dissolute corruption of the Dukes court in >Rigoletto. It has been done - I also saw a production where the Duke stripped >off in Act Three till he was nude and headed to Gilda where we know what was >going to happen.
Oh yes, the current ROH production has the Duke chasing naked ladies too. In fact the ROH has quite a track record for nudity. Sir Peter Hall and Solti started it in their celebrated Moses und Aaron production of the 1960s. Apparently at rehearsal Hall turned to the Virgin singers (note capital) and said "You, you, you and you are going to strip off!" -- well, the cast list does refer to them as Naked Virgins. They, however, politely demurred, which he seemed to accept. Then at the dress rehearsal they all nearly fell over as several girls among the chorus suddenly dropped their robes. The ROH is conveniently right next to Soho, and he'd simply gone out to the many strip clubs that flourished there then (not so many now) and ordered in a few. The girls could just dash in, in between numbers; the clubs were mostly run by Maltese gangsters, too, many of whom liked opera, and no doubt a few free tickets changed hands. So this became quite a regular thing in productions -- Kundry in Parsifal accompanied by a couple of busty black ladies, for example, But the chorus didn't always object so much either, and in videos such as Samson and Delilah and Tales of Hoffman there's a fair amount of toplessness and groping by ladies who are also singing rather well. Unless maybe some strippers got voice training....

Hall actually had quite a fondness for nudity in his productions, as witness the splendidly nude Rhinemaidens at Bayreuth (which I did, sigh) all very reputable singers. His La Calisto for Glyndebourne, visible on YouTube, used it to hilarious effect, with the toweringly lanky Hugues Cuenod in drag as an elderly nymph being pursued by a lecherous little satyr, sung by the diminutive and delightful Janet Hughes wearing only hair and hooves, and not much hair above the waist. Gender not so much bent as corkscrewed...

Cheers,

Mike
Mike Scott Rohan
2016-06-01 00:26:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
End Act 1 Valkyrie? Sounds pretty busy to me ;-)

Cheers,

Mike

PS And Act II Tristan, even if they never stop singing.
Jay Kauffman
2016-06-01 20:10:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
End Act 1 Valkyrie? Sounds pretty busy to me ;-)
Cheers,
Mike
PS And Act II Tristan, even if they never stop singing.
Well I must admit when it was Jessye Norman and Gary Lakes- it really didn't cross my mind - now Peter Hofmann and Jeanine Altmeyer they were VERY busy
Richard Partridge
2016-06-01 20:11:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On 5/31/16 8:26 PM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful Stefan
Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a cute
one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the thing
off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not averse to
high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but this
one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast, particularly
the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring traditionalist,
but I would much rather watch a respectful production, like David McVicar's
rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
End Act 1 Valkyrie? Sounds pretty busy to me ;-)
Cheers,
Mike
PS And Act II Tristan, even if they never stop singing.
I think we've talked about the elopement in Valkyrie before. I think the
problem is that young people are still reacting against Victorian morality.
Everyone knows Siegmund rogered Sieglinde. How else could she get a Wälsung
growing in her womb? But for good and sufficient reasons we don't show
sexual intercourse on stage in grand opera. Some young people, however,
feel cheated. They sense the dead hand of Victorian morality, and protest
against it.

As for Tristan, it would be interesting to see if it's humanly possible to
combine singing and sex.


Dick Partridge
Herman van der Woude
2016-06-01 21:17:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Richard Partridge
On 5/31/16 8:26 PM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful
Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three
years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a
cute one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is
beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the
thing off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not
averse to high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and
I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but
this one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast,
particularly the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring
traditionalist, but I would much rather watch a respectful production,
like David McVicar's rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical
mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
End Act 1 Valkyrie? Sounds pretty busy to me ;-)
Cheers,
Mike
PS And Act II Tristan, even if they never stop singing.
I think we've talked about the elopement in Valkyrie before. I think the
problem is that young people are still reacting against Victorian morality.
Everyone knows Siegmund rogered Sieglinde. How else could she get a Wälsung
growing in her womb? But for good and sufficient reasons we don't show
sexual intercourse on stage in grand opera. Some young people, however,
feel cheated. They sense the dead hand of Victorian morality, and protest
against it.
As for Tristan, it would be interesting to see if it's humanly possible to
combine singing and sex.
Dick Partridge
Regarding your Tristan remark, Dick, the Missus and I will try later
this evening ;-)
Actually the sex is in the orchestral music Wagner provided, there's no
denial about that, and when the two are discovered by Marke and Melot
you can speak of a coitus interuptus (very rude indeed). In my mind
there really is no need to show the deed.

There is no need to show or to suggest any sexual activity in Die
Meistersinger. The story isn't that way and any such thing would divert
from the music, the singing and the story.
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Richard Partridge
2016-06-02 18:55:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Herman van der Woude
Post by Richard Partridge
On 5/31/16 8:26 PM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful
Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three
years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage - anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a
cute one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is
beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the
thing off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not
averse to high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and
I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but
this one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast,
particularly the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring
traditionalist, but I would much rather watch a respectful production,
like David McVicar's rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical
mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
End Act 1 Valkyrie? Sounds pretty busy to me ;-)
Cheers,
Mike
PS And Act II Tristan, even if they never stop singing.
I think we've talked about the elopement in Valkyrie before. I think the
problem is that young people are still reacting against Victorian morality.
Everyone knows Siegmund rogered Sieglinde. How else could she get a Wälsung
growing in her womb? But for good and sufficient reasons we don't show
sexual intercourse on stage in grand opera. Some young people, however,
feel cheated. They sense the dead hand of Victorian morality, and protest
against it.
As for Tristan, it would be interesting to see if it's humanly possible to
combine singing and sex.
Dick Partridge
Regarding your Tristan remark, Dick, the Missus and I will try later
this evening ;-)
Actually the sex is in the orchestral music Wagner provided, there's no
denial about that, and when the two are discovered by Marke and Melot
you can speak of a coitus interuptus (very rude indeed). In my mind
there really is no need to show the deed.
There is no need to show or to suggest any sexual activity in Die
Meistersinger. The story isn't that way and any such thing would divert
from the music, the singing and the story.
Well, good luck with the singing! I hope the neighbors won't complain.

I agree that the music in Tristan is replete with sex in some places.

I think Nabokov said that sexual arousal is an emotion that is not easily
shared. (I'm not speaking of the two participants, but of others that may
be watching.) Someone else's sexual excitement tends to leave us cold.


Dick Partridge
Jay Kauffman
2016-06-02 19:22:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Herman van der Woude
Post by Richard Partridge
On 5/31/16 8:26 PM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful
Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three
years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage -
anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris
and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a
cute one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is
beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the
thing off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not
averse to high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and
I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but
this one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast,
particularly the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring
traditionalist, but I would much rather watch a respectful production,
like David McVicar's rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical
mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
End Act 1 Valkyrie? Sounds pretty busy to me ;-)
Cheers,
Mike
PS And Act II Tristan, even if they never stop singing.
I think we've talked about the elopement in Valkyrie before. I think the
problem is that young people are still reacting against Victorian morality.
Everyone knows Siegmund rogered Sieglinde. How else could she get a Wälsung
growing in her womb? But for good and sufficient reasons we don't show
sexual intercourse on stage in grand opera. Some young people, however,
feel cheated. They sense the dead hand of Victorian morality, and protest
against it.
As for Tristan, it would be interesting to see if it's humanly possible to
combine singing and sex.
Dick Partridge
Regarding your Tristan remark, Dick, the Missus and I will try later
this evening ;-)
Actually the sex is in the orchestral music Wagner provided, there's no
denial about that, and when the two are discovered by Marke and Melot
you can speak of a coitus interuptus (very rude indeed). In my mind
there really is no need to show the deed.
There is no need to show or to suggest any sexual activity in Die
Meistersinger. The story isn't that way and any such thing would divert
from the music, the singing and the story.
Well, good luck with the singing! I hope the neighbors won't complain.
I agree that the music in Tristan is replete with sex in some places.
I think Nabokov said that sexual arousal is an emotion that is not easily
shared. (I'm not speaking of the two participants, but of others that may
be watching.) Someone else's sexual excitement tends to leave us cold.
Dick Partridge
Really???? tell that to the porn industry
Richard Partridge
2016-06-03 18:34:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Herman van der Woude
Post by Richard Partridge
On 5/31/16 8:26 PM, Mike Scott Rohan, at
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
Post by Richard Partridge
Post by Jay Kauffman
Post by Richard Partridge
the
Post by Michel Casse
Post by Jay Kauffman
I have just learned from MET management that the really wonderful
Stefan Herheim Meistersinger scheduled to arrive at the MET in three
years will NOT
be coming. Apparently the production is too big for the MET stage -
anyway
that is the reason they are giving out. Real shame - the production was
superb
Too bad for you and the New Yorkers. I saw it two months ago in Paris
and that
was wonderful. There remains the DVD of the original Vienna production.
"The idea of having the characters of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von
Nurnberg" Lilliputian-sized, cavorting across Hans Sach's desktop and
amongst his furnishings (as if creatures out of his imagination), is a
cute one; although what "cute" has to do with this particular opera is
beyond me.
It's a fairly benign, inoffensive conceit (as Euro-trashy conceits go),
until the Grimm's fairytale creatures appear and proceed to have anal
intercourse with one another (I kid you not), turning the end of Act II into
a nightmarish bacchanalia. That's when I grabbed the remote, shut the
thing off and walked away. Seriously, why bother at that point? I'm not
averse to high concept (Chereau's Ring, Girard's recent "Parsifal"), and
I'm sure that
director Stefan Herheim has justifications for his interpretation, but
this one is so distracting as to be comical. Too bad, as the cast,
particularly the Sachs of Michael Volle, is first rate. Call me a boring
traditionalist, but I would much rather watch a respectful production,
like David McVicar's rapturous Glyndebourne version, than a non-sensical
mess like this."
Dick Partridge
So what???. many critical reviews in the press loved it. Citing one review
from Amazon isn't much of a verdict.
If you think anal intercourse, or any kind of sexual intercourse, is
acceptable in the staging of Wagner's operas, I'm not going to waste
electrons (or question marks) arguing with you.
Dick Partridge
End Act 1 Valkyrie? Sounds pretty busy to me ;-)
Cheers,
Mike
PS And Act II Tristan, even if they never stop singing.
I think we've talked about the elopement in Valkyrie before. I think the
problem is that young people are still reacting against Victorian morality.
Everyone knows Siegmund rogered Sieglinde. How else could she get a Wälsung
growing in her womb? But for good and sufficient reasons we don't show
sexual intercourse on stage in grand opera. Some young people, however,
feel cheated. They sense the dead hand of Victorian morality, and protest
against it.
As for Tristan, it would be interesting to see if it's humanly possible to
combine singing and sex.
Dick Partridge
Regarding your Tristan remark, Dick, the Missus and I will try later
this evening ;-)
Actually the sex is in the orchestral music Wagner provided, there's no
denial about that, and when the two are discovered by Marke and Melot
you can speak of a coitus interuptus (very rude indeed). In my mind
there really is no need to show the deed.
There is no need to show or to suggest any sexual activity in Die
Meistersinger. The story isn't that way and any such thing would divert
from the music, the singing and the story.
Well, good luck with the singing! I hope the neighbors won't complain.
I agree that the music in Tristan is replete with sex in some places.
I think Nabokov said that sexual arousal is an emotion that is not easily
shared. (I'm not speaking of the two participants, but of others that may
be watching.) Someone else's sexual excitement tends to leave us cold.
Dick Partridge
Really???? tell that to the porn industry
I think it's the images being watched, and not the sexual excitement as
such, that's rewarding.


Dick Partridge
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