08 September 2010

Meistersinger at Bayreuth 2010

Klaus Florian Vogt (Walther) and Michaela Kaune(Eva).
Photo Enrico Nawrath/Bayreuther Festspiele
My reactions after seeing Katharina Wagner's Meistersinger production for the second time are totally schizophrenic.

I have immense respect for her completely new interpretation and the way she carries it out - even though this is far from what Richard Wagner intended. Making Beckmesser develop into a hero and Hans Sachs into a monster is fresh, thought-provoking and stimulating. The production was also a historical necessity coming at a time when Bayreuth announced a more open-mindedness to research into the Festival's dark past.

At the same time, I must admit that most of what is happening in the production before "Wach auf!" in Act 3 really is pushing me to the limit. It is simply not good. For me the production gets interesting 30 minutes before the end.

Am I being unfair? Too positive? Too negative?

Read my thoughts on the production on Wagneropera.net and please leave your comment here


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but this is just sad.

Art and music have reach a nadir in our culture. There is very little understanding of what art is. Art has become a kind of mass spectacle geared to the stadium crowds. Modern theatrical directors often fall into this spiral of seeking attention and headlines in the chronicals by putting themselves ahead of THE MUSIC for the sake of the classical vices of glory or pride or fame.

Theatrical productions of classical opera have often become infantile and often have nothing to do with the music or the ideas and values expressed in the music. It has become all show to gain attention and generate discussion about the director, who thinks of himself as a great creative genius greater than the composer. The worse the designer is, the greater his inflated opinion of himself is generally. It's just another sign of the decay of the present culture.

Wagner is turning in his grave no doubt.