Well it’s not an opera, but I’d love to stage Handel’s La Resurezzione… sublime music and the potential for a great visual drama.
Never say never….but I’m not a great fan of comedies.
Singers come to the first rehearsal knowing the libretto and the music—where actors learn the text during the rehearsal process—so they are much more familiar with the text at an earlier stage. Because the music carries so much of the emotion, singers “get” the context much more quickly, and are used to a shorter rehearsal period so a director can build the detail in performance earlier in the process. Singers also learn the staging very quickly.
You have to rely on the production speaking for itself and, during the preparation period, look closely at the decisions made by the original creator to interpret what the intentions are. Having said that, one is hoping to recreate the essence of the original but tailor it to the cast you are working with at the time rather than impose a rigid staging with no room for interpretation by singers who are often very different to those in the original cast. For Eugene Onegin, I spent some time working with Antony McDonald, the set and costume designer, and was able to talk through the concept with him in some detail, which was invaluable. I’m also looking forward to working with the original lighting designer, Peter Mumford.
Well, the opera is closely based on Pushkin’s novel, and the clues to Onegin’s character can be found there. He’s had a misspent youth and inherited substantial wealth from his uncle. He’s had it all—too much too soon—and is bored…by life, by wealth, by everything. His heart is closed to the possibility of love and he feels superior to those around him. It is not until he has killed his best friend, returned from a self imposed exile and been introduced to a changed Tatiana that he realizes what he has lost…by which time it is too late. He allows himself to feel real emotion for the first time, only to have his hopes and dreams dashed at the last minute.
I’m not sure it was specifically music that made me want to direct opera, although I listened to a huge amount of Tchaikovsky as a child. The first opera that I saw was La Bohème and I was blown away by the story, the romance, the tragedy and of course, the music. What really excites me about opera is the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk, the combination of all the arts in one piece of theatre.
Oh, the weather and the beach of course! And the people are so welcoming and open.
“Dido’s Lament,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Dust Bowl Dance” by Mumford & Sons and Bobby Darin’s version of “Mack the Knife”….oh, and Mozart’s Requiem!
Definitely my vegetable garden!
I’m not sure I have much in common with any of them!
Labels: 10 Questions
Theater of Voices
Royal Opera House
Massenet Don Quichotte
Mariinsky Opera Orch
Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus