Lucia Trash

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Lucia Trash

Post by lennygoran » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:46 am

Sure hope Gelb never brings this trash to the Met! Regards, Len :x

Royal Opera House audience boo violent production of Lucia di Lammermoor

The opening night of a production of Lucia di Lammermoor has been booed by the audience at the Royal Opera House.

The production of Donizetti's tragic opera directed by Katie Mitchell had been preceded by warnings of explicit sex scenes and violence.

It featured extra scenes that included a miscarriage on stage.

The warnings came after the London venue was forced to apologise following a production of William Tell last year contained a rape scene that upset many.

Charlotte Higgins, chief culture writer for the Guardian who was in the audience, called the reception "pretty extraordinary".

"It was booed as much as it was cheered, so there was a real feeling of division in the audience," she told the Today programme.

She said the warnings were unnecessary as "the opera is inescapably violent and unpleasant", even without the extra scenes which do not originally feature in the opera.

"These are dark and scary extraordinary pieces of work - they are are not there to comfort us, they are there to make us think about our own lives and take us to dark and unpleasant places," she said.

The extra scenes include a passionate sex sequence and, after the audience are lead to understand Lucia was pregnant, a miscarriage on stage.

Another big change in the production is a scene where Lucia stabs the husband she has been forced to marry, which normally happens off stage.

Director Mitchell said she added the scenes to deepen the audiences understanding of Lucia.

"The male characters in Lucia di Lammermoor are on stage a lot, their psychologies are well drawn, they're complex and thrilling and interesting.

"My beef with the piece is that there just isn't that same degree of attention and thoughtfulness in the drawing of the female characters. There are scenes that seem to be missing. So my production will try to fill in some of the gaps in the central character's story. It will balance things out."

German soprano Diana Damrau, who plays the role of Lucia, has defended the production.

"This production is not for the sake of showing off blood," she told Radio 4's Front Row.

"It allows us to give more depth to the characters and to tell the story much deeper... you really get all the emotions of all the characters.

"I think for our time it's not so shocking any more - if you would have shown this 30 years ago this would have been a real shocker."

Damrau has played the role of Lucia seven times previously, but said the new production with extra scenes was a challenge as it required more acting skills.

"The most challenging thing is to act the miscarriage because that means to involve the whole body... and sometimes you get carried away so at the beginning of the rehearsals you start crying during the scene which you can never do singing a role like Lucia - because the mucus go onto the vocal cords. It's not easy to have all your emotions in control," she said.

The production has divided critics - while Higgins called it "an incredibly powerful production" with "extraordinary performances from the cast", that left her "moved and completely compelled by it", The Telegraph's Rupert Christiansen gave the opera two stars calling it "too leaden even for the hecklers".

He said the extra scenes were "perverse - and heavy-handed", saying the audiences "noses are rubbed in the grisly details of Lucia's miscarriage".

The Stage's George Hall also gave the production three stars, saying "with its fussy over-direction, Katie Mitchell's staging disappoints dramatically as well as musically".

The production will be screened live in cinemas on 25 April.

In June last year the opening night of William Tell at the Royal Opera House was marked by boos over a rape scene with nudity.

The Opera House issued a statement after the performance of apologising for any distress caused.

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Re: Lucia Trash

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:31 pm

Ugly! Some things are better left to the imagination. :oops:

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Re: Lucia Trash

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:45 pm

lennygoran wrote:Sure hope Gelb never brings this trash to the Met!

If he does, he'll have to deal with the Lenster. A "trash" anything else is one thing, but at his peril will he mess with Donizetti's most famous opera while Len is in town. :)

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Re: Lucia Trash

Post by lennygoran » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:54 pm

jbuck919 wrote: If he does, he'll have to deal with the Lenster. A "trash" anything else is one thing, but at his peril will he mess with Donizetti's most famous opera while Len is in town. :)
That's right-I'll see when he's crossing Broadway, get my car from it's free parking spot and make my move! Regards, Len :lol:

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Re: Lucia Trash

Post by lennygoran » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:40 am

maestrob wrote:Ugly! Some things are better left to the imagination. :oops:
Ugly is right-here'a photo followed by another review. Regards, Len :(


Opera review: Lucia di Lammermoor at The Royal Opera House

OH DEAR, the Royal Opera has done it again.
By William Hartston

Oh dear, the Royal Opera has done it again. This is a great opera performed by an excellent cast, but with a few factors introduced by an over-zealous director in search of something she'd probably call "authenticity" which nearly spoils the show. A few months ago, it was a totally inappropriate rape scene in Rossini's William Tell that filled the house with booing. This time, it was gratuitous on-stage sex and a long drawn-out murder that earned the director the boos at the final curtain.

A friend of mine recently wrote to the Royal Opera House to suggest that they should charge more for restricted-view seats in such productions, as some people would be happy to pay more not to have to watch such things. It may not be such a bad idea, but opera should not have to be watched with one's eyes closed.

Based on a Walter Scott novel, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor is far more than the usual boy-loves-girl; girl dies; sometimes boy dies too. Here the boy, Edgardo, is the bitter enemy of Enrico, the brother of the girl, Lucia. Enrico conspires to keep them apart and forces Lucia to marry someone else. On the day of the marriage, however, she kills her new husband, then goes mad and kills herself too, which is all too much for Edgardo who kills himself too.

Lucia's mad scene is an operatic classic, excellently performed by German soprano Diana Damrau, who makes up for what she may lack in ear-splitting soprano volume with passionate acting and a breathless, manic delivery of her lines in this aria. The extravagant direction is just wrong

It's good to hear this production using the glass harmonica of Donizetti's original version of the opera to accompany her rantings. Think dampened fingers drawn across the tops of wine glasses and you can imagine the eerie quality of the sound. I have rarely heard the audience at Covent Garden stifle their coughs for so long as while this was in progress.

With the American tenor Charles Castronovo in fine and strong voice as Edgardo, the duets between him and Lucia were great to listen to. Their voices blend perfectly with each other and the casting worked really well. French baritone Ludovic Tézier also put in an excellent performance as Enrico, with just enough venom in his voice to bring out the essential nastiness of the character.

So far, so good, but that brings us to Katie Mitchell's direction, which went too far and much of it wasn't good at all. She is a director who likes to explore the psychological motivations behind the character's actions, but some motivations are far better left to the audience's imagination.

First, came that sex scene, where Lucia and Edgardo are bonking in time with Donizetti's beautiful music, while singing a tender aria. Personally, I have always thought that rhythmic love-making in time to music is disrespectful to both the sex and the music. When it also clashes with the words they are singing, it is simply going too far.

We next meet Lucia three months later at the start of Act Two when she rushes out of bed to be sick in a toilet, clearly suggesting that she is pregnant (which is not even hinted at in Donizetti's libretto). Oh dear, I thought. This is the production that puts the "loo" in "Lucia".

Putting such lavatorial thoughts aside, however, I later realised that the introduction of the pregnancy was so that Lucia could suffer a very bloody miscarriage after she had killed her husband. I presume this was so that she had an extra reason to go mad, but she hardly needed one having spent the whole of a long Edgardo aria stabbing and smothering the poor man in the next room.

This stabbing and suffocating went on for so long that many of the audience began to laugh, which could not have been the intention. It also showed the disadvantage of the set design, which throughout divided the stage into two arias to depict different things going on at the same time. Sometimes this worked well, but all too often it served merely to distract from what should have been one's focus of attention. I felt sympathy for Charles Castronovo, singing passionately while the audience were laughing at a bit of melodramatic murder.

The music is delicious, the singing is glorious, the acting performances are excellent, the orchestra, conducted by Daniel Oren, is up to its usual very high standards, if sometimes seeming to operate without full awareness of the singers, but the extravagant direction is just wrong. I'm afraid I'm with the boo-ers on that one. ... pera-House

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Re: Lucia Trash

Post by lennygoran » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:08 am

jbuck919 wrote:

If he does, he'll have to deal with the Lenster. A "trash" anything else is one thing, but at his peril will he mess with Donizetti's most famous opera while Len is in town. :)
Now here's another guy who seems angry but I'm sure he's more concerned with London than we poor souls here in the NYC area-of course so much of that stuff is now arriving here. Regards, Len

PS-Bieito is bringing his La Forza to the Met-he must be stopped!

Opera must bring down the curtain on gimmickry and gore

Rupert Christiansen

Soaked in simulated blood and sex, Katie Mitchell’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden opened last week to an all too predictable barrage of boos and bravos. This sort of polarized response has been the norm in opera now for the last decade, and it’s all getting rather boring and counter-productive. Who or what is to blame?
"A lot of thought has gone into Katie Mitchell’s staging, most of it misguided"

Behind the phenomenon is a profound and widespread loss of confidence. Opera house managers are desperately worried that opera has been haemorrhaging audience and relevance, leaving it socially exclusive and culturally marginalised. The hip-hopping Twittering young don’t understand or respond to it, while decreasing numbers of the elderly only want to hear nice tunes sung by people in polite period costume. Meanwhile, as the level of public subsidy shrinks fast, the entire labour-intensive enterprise of mounting opera becomes ever more financially unviable.

All sorts of tactics have been pursued in the vain effort to reverse this trend and “refresh the brand”. New operas on “cutting-edge” contemporary themes are commissioned (I currently await, with trepidation, something set in the lavatories of a gay night club). Squads are sent out into schools with a mission to persuade impressionable children that opera is fun, fun, fun and nothing to be scared of; television talent shows feature amateurs belting their way through “Nessun dorma”; ticket prices have been slashed and free drinks proffered, as opera is marketed as either super-glamorous or accessible to all.

Commissioning productions such as Mitchell’s Lucia di Lammermoor is another common wheeze – the idea being that presenting a provocatively different interpretation, preferably involving a frisson of post-watershed transgression, will break the mould, excite public interest and have people hammering at the box office for tickets.

It doesn’t work; none of it works. The harder you try to sell opera as groovy, the greater the suspicion and resistance, the stronger the shrieking fat lady stereotypes, the louder the catcalls of elitism and anachronism.

So I think that the opera business needs to simmer down and relax. Managements need to stop reaching for trivial gimmicks and think more about keeping their regular audience happy and less about following the mirage of a young proletarian tattooed audience elsewhere. We need to stop telling children that they ought to like opera and let them find their own way there, in their own time.

And most of all, we need directors like Katie Mitchell to use their imaginations and find a deeper truth in the music that goes beyond the sort of factitious sensationalism that marks her dismally pretentious and faintly silly vision of Lucia di Lammermoor. ... -and-gore/

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Re: Lucia Trash

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:39 pm

I very much hope this comes to the Met.

I will go to the dress rehearsal and enjoy myself.
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: Lucia Trash

Post by John F » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:15 pm

This Rupert Christiansen is a real mossback. He's not only against bad productions of old operas, he's against new operas on subjects that might appeal to a general audience. So much for "The Magic Flute," "La Traviata," and of course "Nixon in China." And he's against educational outreach by opera companies to school children, trying to fill the void in arts education that grows ever wider and deeper in the U.S. and has hit Britain too. Who cares what he thinks? I certainly don't.
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Re: Lucia Trash

Post by lennygoran » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:39 am

John F wrote: So much for "The Magic Flute," "La Traviata," and of course "Nixon in China."
I hadn't realized he was against these-I only presented the article because he was angry about the ROH Lucia and so am I-I'm sure not against the 3 operas you mention above. Regards, Len

PS-needless to say I'll never be at the Lucia!

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