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Subject: Professional Jealousy and Staging Verdi
From: Michael Barclay <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 4 Mar 2001 19:40:43 -0800
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Let the flames begin! Oh my and tsk tsk tsk...do i detect a hint of
professional jealousy among you passionate nay sayers to the concept that
regie reigns. for me the job of the director is that of a professional
magician, and one can only be called that if he/she knows their craft. Now
what's really involved with staging an opera at the MET or any other opera
house? let's examine the given from the backstage reception to the opening
night audience. and one must never lose sight of that opening night goal and
pressure. If you are not in the habit of saying good morning to the
receptionist and he/she is a telephone power freak...you will not get your
messages, and tickets that you've left for an important guest or manager
suddenly disappear. This in itself can easily ruin a limited rehearsal
period. What if you get on stage or into the rehearsal room at 10:00 a.m.,
ready to impart and share your knowledge of a piece you have probably studied
to the nth degree, and perhaps even done before, and two of your leads decide
to be prima donna's, and their vile poison spreads to the rest of the cast
and ruins your rehearsal periods. It takes a magician to cajole artists into
working everyday, 8 hours a day, just like any other job. But at any other
job you are dealing with basically normal people, not tempremental
singers...especially ones who are basically insecure with the music and need
a scapegoat. And what if the stage hands have it in for you? And they really
control the theater. Just try moving those sets and furniture by yourself.
And then we have the press, who can make or break a career by a pen stroke.
And what if you are so sure that you have the answer to making the singing,
the acting, the staging, the orchestra, the chorus, the costumes and wig/and
make-up people, not to mention the lights, and we've already mentioned the
big boys backstage all work together so even the family circle standees get
the message...and you believe that your interpretation is the right one...and
you've worked your butt off and put your heart and soul and head and every
living breath you have into making a good show, and the audience either
doesn't like it or get it.  Well you know what? It doesn't matter because
those who know, know and those who don't, don't matter because they'll come
for whatever spectacle about the evening appeals to them, and there's always
something to appeal. If not your jaded and should reevaluate your opinion.
Of course, sometimes you just get a bad director. But I think the five
mentioned in Matthew Gurewitsch's most superb and inflamatory Sunday Times
piece know exactly what they are doing, and are doing the best job they can.
These are 5 of the most talented directors in the industry today...and who
get the big picture. I find it hard to comprehend that some of you are so
enraged and appalled and positively against what they stand for.  For me they
stand for and believe in good music making theater and get the bigger
picture. I admire and respect them for what they have accomplished. I admire
their creative spirit and artistic minds. Even though at times I may
disagree. I even admire Gian Carlo del Monacco.  AS WELL YOU OUGHT!  HIS
CAV & PAG IN MUENCHEN, HOFFMANN IN BERLIN, USW. WERE
CERTAIN:Y GREATER Just to throw in a real
cliche, we are afterall in the 21st Century, and some Americans seem not to
want to leave the 18th Century. Wachet auf!  There are new genius's in the
world of opera, and G-d willing there always will be. Now go ahead, mark me
with a scarlett R for regie. I feel like the black sheep of the family.

Helen Kamioner

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