Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lighten Up People. It's Only Opera!

I love love love love love love opera.

I love to watch it, sing it, listen to it, write about it, read about it, watch it, listen to it…oh, I said that already. 

But for heaven's sake, people, it's OPERA. It’s a vital and living art form. It’s probably the highest art form the western world has to offer. It’s more than an art form—it’s a composite art form: Music, Dance, Singing, Scenery, Lighting, Words, Instruments, Acting…

It's wonderful and it's important, yes. But it's opera. Lighten up! Enjoy opera, and save your angst for something that's just a teensy bit, important in life. 

Now, put both hands firmly against the edge of your desk, and push back. Stand up, go for a walk, have a cup of coffee, chat with a friend, chase the dog around, play the piano, read a book, go out for brunch, gain some perspective. 

Then come back and watch this opera clip. But remember, it’s just opera! 

Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Act 2 Finale

Konstanze: Catherine Naglestadt
Belmonte: Matthias Klink
Blonde: Kate Ladner
Pedrillo: Heinz Göhrig

Conductor: Lothar Zagrosek
Director: Hans Neuenfels
Staatsoper Stuttgart


  1. Rob,

    Many thanks for posting this. I think more than a few of the commenters in this blogpost should follow your advice:

    1. Thanks! That is ONE of the discussions I had in mind when writing this.

  2. Hi Rob,

    I did all the things you recommend (except I didn't have a dog at hand). Still I think that this is the most wretched production of Entfürung I have seen (not that I have seen that many). But I will not go in to details, and of course, it is just opera...

    1. LOL I understand. This is a bizarre production. I happen to like it a lot but I can see why a lot of folks don't like it. My least favorite I haven't seen is the Bieito one. My least favorite I HAVE seen is Herheim's for M22. It's well done and well sung but I hate that he threw out the entire plot.

    2. He threw out the plot? I haven't seen that one - how on earth does that work?

    3. Wellll, it's kind of about marriage. Herheim rewrote almost all the dialog and has this story about the two couples working their way towards marriage. Osmin appears as both a priest and a devil. There is a lot of intermixing of the two couples and I think that the two couples are not really two separate couples, because the stage is filled with brides and grooms, including a young boy and girl that may or may not be the children of Pedrillo and Blonde. So it's sort of an allegory.

      There is no Selim in this one. The upside is Franz Hawlata is Osmin, Laura Akin (who freaks me out for some reason) is Konstanze and Charles Castronovo is Belmonte. The other singers (i forget who they are) are good too, so the production is well done. Herheim is never half-assed, of course.

      This is one production, though, that I wish had been billed as Stefan Herheim's Die Entfuhr... etc.(stand back while the purists pounce on me and shout, "A-HA!!") Because as theater it's valid, and all the Mozart music is there, but otherwise it's pretty much not your grandmother's Entfuhrung.

    4. I will have to track this one down. I haven't had a regie Entfuhrung in a while.

    5. Neuenfels' is still my favorite regie Entfuhrung.


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