Discussion:
Current Wagner Productions
(too old to reply)
m***@gmail.com
2018-08-01 15:14:13 UTC
Permalink
Many of the current Wagner productions I find either ridiculous, offensive or both. I think I have pinpointed one of the reasons. I don't really believe many of these directors have any appreciation or are even familiar with the MUSIC. They read the text and take off from there without realizing or caring that there is music going on at the same time. Case in point is the new Bayreuth Lohengrin which I found absurd for a number of reasons. The third act has a very lovely love duet between Lohengrin and Elsa most of which is filled with sweetness and beauty. What we see going on is Lohengrin tying Elsa up against a pole with her hands tied as well. While this beautiful music is playing, what our eyes are seeing is Elsa struggling to get free. Disregarding the subtext (I guess) that Elsa is struggling to regain her femininity, how in the world can the audience enjoy and appreciate the music while they are concentrating on whether and why Elsa is struggling to free herself. As a matter of fact the Elsa in this production is a fairly depressed (and depressing to watch) figure in a dreadful wig. This happens over and over again in current Wagner productions - I assume the directors have no idea what the term Gesamtkunstwerk means. I just spoke about the music in this post - getting on to how the directors are slathering their own ideas smothering those of the librettist and composer are another depressing matter entirely
REP
2018-08-01 16:31:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@gmail.com
Many of the current Wagner productions I find either ridiculous, offensive or both. I think I have pinpointed one of the reasons. I don't really believe many of these directors have any appreciation or are even familiar with the MUSIC. They read the text and take off from there without realizing or caring that there is music going on at the same time. Case in point is the new Bayreuth Lohengrin which I found absurd for a number of reasons. The third act has a very lovely love duet between Lohengrin and Elsa most of which is filled with sweetness and beauty. What we see going on is Lohengrin tying Elsa up against a pole with her hands tied as well. While this beautiful music is playing, what our eyes are seeing is Elsa struggling to get free. Disregarding the subtext (I guess) that Elsa is struggling to regain her femininity, how in the world can the audience enjoy and appreciate the music while they are concentrating on whether and why Elsa is struggling to free herself. As a matter of fact the Elsa in this production is a fairly depressed (and depressing to watch) figure in a dreadful wig. This happens over and over again in current Wagner productions - I assume the directors have no idea what the term Gesamtkunstwerk means. I just spoke about the music in this post - getting on to how the directors are slathering their own ideas smothering those of the librettist and composer are another depressing matter entirely
You seem to be assuming good faith on the part of modern directors. Don't. They might be ignorant and inept, but that's not the problem. It's that they're knowingly and intentionally trying to desecrate what other people find sacred. It would not be wrong to call them evil.

REP
Mike Scott Rohan
2018-08-01 17:49:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by REP
You seem to be assuming good faith on the part of modern directors. Don't. They might be ignorant and inept, but that's not the problem. It's that they're knowingly and intentionally trying to desecrate what other people find sacred. It would not be wrong to call them evil.
REP
In some cases I would be inclined to agree with that, extreme as it is. Some producers are just plain nasty. From what I've seen and heard offstage Richard Jones (think the last ROH Ring, the Met Hansel & Gretel) may be a candidate. The elderly enfant terrible Hans Neuenfels, of the Lohengrin rats, is another. In other cases, though, I would suggest they're just following the herd. If you want to get ahead, you do your Wagner this way. And following the Intendants, on whom their livelihood depends. I know for a fact one recently told a producer "I want a suces de scandale with this one!" And of course he got it. Very often, particularly on the continent, intendants are bureaucratic civil servant types, pure apparatchiks without much musical or theatrical savvy, well primed with public money but largely unaccountable for its use behind the shelter of artistic freedom. Like other apparatchiks they fight status wars, to show themselves go-ahead and lively and keep a basically philistine, jaded middle-class audience amused -- and earn plaudits from the most jaded of all, the critics.

Cheers,

Mike
Mike Scott Rohan
2018-08-01 17:53:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@gmail.com
Many of the current Wagner productions I find either ridiculous, offensive or both. I think I have pinpointed one of the reasons. I don't really believe many of these directors have any appreciation or are even familiar with the MUSIC. They read the text and take off from there without realizing or caring that there is music going on at the same time. Case in point is the new Bayreuth Lohengrin which I found absurd for a number of reasons. The third act has a very lovely love duet between Lohengrin and Elsa most of which is filled with sweetness and beauty. What we see going on is Lohengrin tying Elsa up against a pole with her hands tied as well. While this beautiful music is playing, what our eyes are seeing is Elsa struggling to get free. Disregarding the subtext (I guess) that Elsa is struggling to regain her femininity, how in the world can the audience enjoy and appreciate the music while they are concentrating on whether and why Elsa is struggling to free herself. As a matter of fact the Elsa in this production is a fairly depressed (and depressing to watch) figure in a dreadful wig. This happens over and over again in current Wagner productions - I assume the directors have no idea what the term Gesamtkunstwerk means. I just spoke about the music in this post - getting on to how the directors are slathering their own ideas smothering those of the librettist and composer are another depressing matter entirely
For that kind of producer the contrast is the point. So many productions these days deliberately work against the music and any degree of dramatic effect -- having characters enter before the music depicts their entrance is so common as to be almost routine.

And superimposing their own ideas is definitely the point, as in the Bayreuth Meistersinger that's just appeared on DVD -- the one with the heads. It's past the point of deconstruction; the subtext becomes the main text, with the music a mere excuse for it.

Cheers,

Mike
f***@gmail.com
2018-08-07 18:46:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Scott Rohan
And superimposing their own ideas is definitely the point, as in the Bayreuth Meistersinger that's just appeared on DVD -- the one with the heads. It's past the point of deconstruction; the subtext becomes the main text, with the music a mere excuse for it.
Just read the review on Amazon.co.uk - wow...

Simonel

Loading...