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Subject: Re: Worst staging nominations
From: Michael McPherson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael McPherson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 22 Dec 2017 12:32:51 -0500
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Bob,
Is it true that Zeffirelli wanted the cast to take off their wigs at the finale and Bing said absolutely no?

I agree with you that it was a fantastic production with a great cast.

Michael

Michael J. McPherson
[log in to unmask]




> On Dec 22, 2017, at 12:13 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Zeffirelli's staging of "Falstaff" at the Met in 1964, coupled with
> Bernstein's musical direction and as "perfect" a cast as is
> possible in this very imperfect World, was, and remains the
> greatest live operatic experience of my life. I went to every
> performance the first season and missed only one the following
> year.
> 
> If such perfection represents opera's fossilized past and is prelude
> to its death, then "give me that old time religion" and let me die
> a happy man. "Fossils", btw, is my favorite movement from Saint
> Saen's "Carnival of the Animals". ;-)
> 
> Bob
> 
> On Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 11:50 Roger Brunyate <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
>> *…perfect staging versus the worst staging as in, say, Zeffirelli opposed
>> to euro trash.*
>> 
>> You really mean it that way around?
>> 
>> I agree that there is a lot of stuff out there under the general heading of
>> Eurotrash that should never have even entered the rehearsal room. As it
>> happens, I have just been looking at the opening of Bieto's *Ballo*, with
>> the courtiers all sitting on toilets with their pants around their ankles.
>> But his *Carmen* was quite superb, and infinitely more interesting than the
>> tired Zeffirelli productions.
>> 
>> I admit to being thrilled by Franco Z. in his earlier days; I saw his
>> *Lucia* for Sutherland, *Elisir * at Glyndebourne, and two Shakespeare
>> plays he did in London: *Romeo and Juliet* and *Much Ado About Nothing*.
>> But what were once fresh and interesting productions, benefiting from his
>> incredible sense of period and eye for detail, have become fossilized
>> museum pieces. Other than to wonder that this style (and expense) of
>> staging was ever possible, I would far rather see almost any inventive
>> production today, Euro or not, than a single one of the Zeffirellis at the
>> Met.
>> 
>> There is no such thing as "perfect staging." The very concept would be the
>> death of opera.
>> 
>> As ever, Roger.
>> 
>> On Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 11:27 AM, Ariane Csonka <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>> A fun challenge for you: I want to do a class on the perfect staging
>>> versus the worst staging as in, say, Zeffirelli opposed to euro trash.  I
>>> think the new München Tannhäuser may be the worst of all.  What would you
>>> nominate?  Clips would have to be available online somewhere.
>>> 
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