Good Regieoper strives to realize (usually in a non-literal, non-traditional way) the most vivid and compelling way to illuminate the work in question.
At its best, Regieoper productions can shed new light on an old plot, heighten messages, and bring out nuances previously unrealized.
In bad Regieoper, the director imposes his/her own vision or critical commentary on the music and libretto to make a “statement."
At its worst, Regieoper is weird, creepy, ugly, disturbing, and/or bad, and willfully contradicts the original work for no apparent reason. This is what gives Regieoper a bad name.
There is often a fine line between good Regieoper and staging that is simply thoughtful and/or updated. Here, we will tread that line, looking at, listening to, and discussing productions; and asking the musical question:
“Regie, or Not Regie?”