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Subject: Worst stagings ...
From: gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 24 Dec 2017 06:56:02 -0600
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There are many ways to stage an opera sometimes they work sometimes they
don’t. There are good regie productions and fine stagings that take a more
traditional approach. I tend to be critical of both but probably have seen
more traditional productions that were less than satisfying.

Recently a performance of Mercadante’s Francesca di Rimini has been
released a dvd of a production in Martina Franca. Very pretty but only the
text tells the story (don’t expect Zandonai) there are no props and no sets
other than the flat wall of the Ducal Palace. The entire budget seems to
have gone for the drapery … costumes.  Obviously the designer had seen a
video of Caballe’s Norma in Orange and fell in love with the drama of the
fluttering fabric. The only way one knew Romeo ( a pants role) from
Juliette was he was in blue drapery no less voluminous than hers and she
was in lovely red drapery. The whole production is very pretty and the
singers do very well in presenting the difficult vocal line. There are a
number of Mercadante operas I prefer and would love to have dvds of. He is
the composer that got me started with my record collecting.

There is a Thais on dvd with, I think, Eva Mei. I have never seen so many
bare breasts on the opera stage. The Meditation is a pole dance with an
overly endowed stripper. Maybe this was a way to get husbands to attend the
opera. Musetta’s pole dance in the recent lunar Boheme was another misstep
as it was too safe. Removing one glove a la Gypsy Rose Lee is much too
dated and inconsistent with the directors updating.

There was in the past, I have it on dvd, a performance of one of
Donizetti’s Tudor operas in the style of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane,
Maria Stuarda maybe. I have never made it thru the dvd.


Well Merry Christmas anyway!

Gordon

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