17. May 2010 · Comments Off on Ah, Opera! · Categories: News, Opera

Sometimes directors can sure get crazy!

“The concept is that instead of a curtain going up, the curtain came down, I mean literally down,” St.Clair said. “Seats were being removed, all the props were being thrown into a huge dumpster on the stage, because (the concept) was talking about the fact that theater doesn’t exist anymore as we know it to exists.

“And for instance, in the third act Florestan sings his opening aria completely in the dark, in the middle of trash bags, unseen, and from a dumpster. He’s in the dumpster, the doors have been opened, trash bags are falling out, and the trash is really what is the remnants of the theater – you know, puppets and costumes and bags of trash. I mean this is just one example.”

A short video of the production on YouTube bears St.Clair out. It looks ridiculous; a mess as well.

“There was a gitter, like a prison cell put over the top of the orchestra,” he said. Beethoven’s overture was dispensed with, the director’s idea.

St.Clair was powerless to stop what he felt was a desecration of Beethoven’s opera. There’s good Regietheater and bad Regietheater, he admitted, but this was beyond the pale.

“It just got to the point where I felt shameful — I felt that I didn’t stand up in a way — or I felt powerless to stand up for Beethoven.” That the company supported such a production was just too much for him.

“I really felt that our differences at this point were those which would disallow me from, in any good conscience, working productively in the house. … This really pointed to some artistic boundaries that I could no longer cross. And felt I needed to sleep at night, and I needed to follow my heart. So I decided to take my leave from the house.”

RTWT

But wait! The article included what could be great news for Orange County, which lost Opera Pacific a short time ago:

Berlin’s loss may be Orange County’s gain. St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony have been talking to opera supporters about ways of bringing back the art form to Orange County. He’ll now have more time to devote to the idea.

That would be great for them, yes?!

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