5 for the music: 1 for the direction and staging!
It's a shame that such an ugly and clumsy staging of this great piece should (nearly) ruin a excellent and musical performance of this beautiful masterpiece - what opportunities were missed! I agree with much of what David says above about the staging of the opera but feel that one cannot dismiss the work of a great composer because of the desecrations imposed on it, hundreds of years later, by uncaring directors! - Martin
04 Dec 11
dire - Sixtus Beckmesser
18 Nov 11
I love Rameau & fondly remember the English Bach Festival staging at Covent Garden so was excited at the prospect of seeing ENO's new production - I wish I hadn't bothered - concept opera at it's worst. Far from it being an audience hit, as stated by Mr McDonnell in another review, it was a third empty last night and a lot of those attending left at the interval. I can only agree on on thing written above, I was glad the orchestra was raised up so that I could watch them instead of the farago going on onstage. The sight of poor Laura Tatulescu's genitals being fingered by a disembodied limb while reclining on a dung heap might be exciting for your reviewer but that was not a feeling shared by any of the people I heard discussing the performance last night and nobody enjoyed what my companion called the dance of the seven nickers either. I hoped ENO had grown out of the Calixto type of production after seeing the wonderful production/performance of The Passenger but sadly it would appear not. What are they going to do with all these un-revivable produtions? I also feel it is quite wrong to allow Mr McDonnell's second 5 star rating to distort what actual Whatsonstage contributors think of this operatic abortion - moderators should please remove it and show the actual 2 star rating given no doubt to the orchestra & singers. - KJ
15 Nov 11
Thank God I had the Met Opera Live Siegfried on Sat to cheer me up after this appallingly infantile production. I can't be the only one to think this production literally and metaphorically pants. I can only pity the singers and orchestra who managed to salvage this disaster with some rather good singing and playing of what is nothing more than a pleasant score. One to be avoided unless the marketing people choose to plaster their posters with "gratuitously disgusting" which I overheard on my way out. It wasn't even that! - Amanda
07 Nov 11
A tedious evening relieved by excellent singing from every soloist. Mercury's aria delivered by Ed Lyon was the highlight. Too many orchestral interludes interrupted whatever dramatic impetus there might have been, and they give the director time to engage in some pointless nudity - (and there should be a universal ban on people running noisily on stage during operas.) The opera whimpers to an orchestral conclusion twenty minutes after Castor and Pollux have ascended to the stars. No more Rameau and no more Kosky for me. - David
30 Oct 11
This was the best production of any opera I've seen since Axel Manthey's Magic Flute in 1992. Funny, inventive, moving and most of all original.
There are a lot of productions these days that fall over themselves to be 'modern', (usually shoving in a few anal rapes for good measure), but this wasn't one of them- everything had a purpose and the whole opera was performed with fantastic panache.
For those think an opera house is just a dusty musical museum stay away. - Stephen
30 Oct 11
It's been a dream of mine from when I was a young boy to be a cheerleader, Eric so you've made my day. Thanks :-) - Keith McDonnell
30 Oct 11
Every "regietheter" cliche in the book. Dung heap? Check. Modern day costuming? Check. Totally irrelevant and gratuitous nudity? Check. Grotesque sexualization? Check. It would appear that all of the critics, apart from Mr McDonnell, were right.
Seriously, the best you can come up with to praise this production is that Kosky creates visually arresting tableaux and that's it's "theatrical".
No mention here of it trying DESPERATELY to be "modern" and/or "shocking".
Opera is more, MUCH more than just tableaux or theatricality. It's about actually telling the story, you know, the one the LIBRETTIST wrote, not the feverishly twisted imaginings of a Kosky (or Bieto et al). Congrats to Mr Curnyn and his cast for what was an undoubtedly beautifully sung and played performance but contempt for Kosky and his team and his gaggle of cheerleaders for thinking that this sort of production is acceptable. - Erik the Red
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