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The Abduction of Opera (Can the Met stand against the trashy productions of trendy nihilists?)
City Journal ^ | 7/30/2007 | Heather MacDonald

Posted on 07/31/2007 10:35:17 AM PDT by mojito

Mozart’s lighthearted opera The Abduction from the Seraglio does not call for a prostitute’s nipples to be sliced off and presented to the lead soprano. Nor does it include masturbation, urination as foreplay, or forced oral sex. Europe’s new breed of opera directors, however, know better than Mozart what an opera should contain. So not only does the Abduction at Berlin’s Komische Oper feature the aforementioned activities; it also replaces Mozart’s graceful ending with a Quentin Tarantino–esque bloodbath and the promise of future perversion.

Welcome to Regietheater (German for “director’s theater”), the style of opera direction now prevalent in Europe. Regietheater embodies the belief that a director’s interpretation of an opera is as important as what the composer intended, if not more so. By an odd coincidence, many cutting-edge directors working in Europe today just happen to discover the identical lode of sex, violence, and opportunity for hackneyed political “critique” in operas ranging from the early Baroque era to that of late Romanticism.

Until now, New York’s Metropolitan Opera has stood resolutely against Regietheater decadence. In fact, its greatest gift to the world at the present moment is to mount productions—whether sleekly abstract or richly realistic—that allow the beauty of some of the most powerful music ever written to shine forth.

The question now is whether that musical gift will continue.

(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: New York
KEYWORDS: heathermacdonald; metropolitanopera; mozart; opera; thearts; verdi; wagner
The vandalism of our cultural heritage in the name of "transgressive" fashion forges, depressingly, ahead. Perhaps the Met can stem the tide. Isn't everyone a little bored with self-indulgent perversion by now?
1 posted on 07/31/2007 10:35:29 AM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito

My God, but these Europeans are sophisticated, aren’t they!!!


2 posted on 07/31/2007 10:39:29 AM PDT by twonie (Keep your guns - and stockpile ammo.)
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To: twonie

We’re just American prudes, you know...


3 posted on 07/31/2007 10:44:20 AM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: mojito

In the case of this particular opera, the homosexuality of the producers and directors (with its seriously f***ed up attitude towards women and sex) finds an ideal target for artistic perversion.

Very similar, indeed, to the situation in High Fashion.


4 posted on 07/31/2007 10:47:34 AM PDT by Erasmus (My simplifying explanation had the disconcerting side effect of making the subject incomprehensible.)
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To: mojito

I am just a mere peasant. I live far away from where high opera can be produced and if I lived near, could never afford to be a subscriber or patron. I will have to settle for merely listening to opera. And what a pleasure that can be. Two nights ago I listened to Tristan and Isolde in its entirity. With CD’s great opera can be accessible to the masses and there are recordings by conductors and singers that probably cannot be matched by this generation of artists.


5 posted on 07/31/2007 10:47:51 AM PDT by Biblebelter
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To: Biblebelter

As a Mozart lover I am almost beyond words...I’m so upset by this!


6 posted on 07/31/2007 10:49:31 AM PDT by freepertoo
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To: mojito
The problem in Europe is that the opera houses are supported by the state (kinda like NPR and PBS). Therefore, they can mount any crappy, puerile production and still get paid. The reviewers are perverted sycophants who love anything ugly. The audiences generally boo these repulsive, filthy stagings. The directors get lots of press and enjoy the publicity of being "notorious".

The Met is unlikely to go this route for a number of reasons:

1. The Met seats 4000 people and needs to fill those seats nightly to break even because...

2. Around half of the Mets revenue comes from ticket sales.

3. The Met receives less than 1% of it's operating budget from the National Endowment for the Arts.

4. The other 50% of the Met's revenue comes from Corporate and private sponsors who would pull their money in heartbeat if the Met employed one of these no-talents to stage a production.

5. The Met also derives revenue from renting entire productions to other opera companies. Sado-masochistic filth is not popular at regional companies.

Heck, the Met is struggling to find a sponsor to keep the famous Saturday afternoon broadcasts funded. They cannot afford the kind of responses that these stagings bring, even if the idiot Europeans are willing to put up with them.

7 posted on 07/31/2007 10:51:49 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Compromise on your vote and you get a compromised government.)
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To: mojito

The decadent excretions of a moribund culture.


8 posted on 07/31/2007 10:52:12 AM PDT by NaughtiusMaximus ("Eat yer groatcakes, Porgy!" "Heavy on the thirty weight, Mom!")
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To: mojito

No, apparently the elite government bureaucrats can endure perversions indefinitely.


9 posted on 07/31/2007 10:54:43 AM PDT by squarebarb
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To: mojito; Clemenza; rmlew
Europe’s new breed of opera directors, however, know better than Mozart what an opera should contain.

Damn right they know better. Mozart is just aother DWEM. Traditional productions of Mozart promote eurocentric, christian, patriarchial, homophobic themes.

I wonder how many more pages of this I'd have to write to make an A in a course at an Ivy League university?

10 posted on 07/31/2007 10:55:54 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: Paleo Conservative
I wonder how many more pages of this I'd have to write to make an A in a course at an Ivy League university?

Not sure. But, if it was at Ward Churchill's now defunct alma mater, that would be enough.

11 posted on 07/31/2007 11:00:42 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Compromise on your vote and you get a compromised government.)
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To: mojito
On the other hand, the Abduction from the Seraglio is set in an Islamic state, so the new productions are probably truer to history.
12 posted on 07/31/2007 11:01:52 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: mojito

Figures that just when my wife and I started enjoying getting fancied up (defined as my wife in alexandrite and me having washed my face and combed my hair) they’d drag opera into the filth as well.


13 posted on 07/31/2007 11:03:59 AM PDT by Greg F (<><)
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To: mojito
Buoyed with government subsidies, and maintained by an informal alliance of government-appointed arts bureaucrats and critics, the phenomenon thrives, even when audiences stay away in disgust.

As other posters have noted, these "trashy productions of trendy nihilists" depend on regular infusions of taxpayer money.

This is yet another argument against government funding of the arts and education.

14 posted on 07/31/2007 11:04:32 AM PDT by Logophile
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To: mojito

Writing this must have been like reviewing the latest Victoria’s Secret catalog for the church ladies; reading it was like suddenly learning that Playboy magazine is now printed only in braille.


15 posted on 07/31/2007 11:09:44 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Greg F

I’ve always thought that going to the Opera made as much sense as taking out the garbage in a tuxedo.


16 posted on 07/31/2007 11:12:06 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: agere_contra
On the other hand, the Abduction from the Seraglio is set in an Islamic state, so the new productions are probably truer to history.

True. Perhaps a more honest production would have Konstanze and Blondchen in burqas and remaining silent, Osmin dragging a pre-pubescent boy into his tent and Belmonte and Pedrillo beheaded by Pasha Selim before he blows himself up at the entrance to the American Embassy.

Reviews:

"Uplifting and inspiring..." - The Nation

"A delightful frolic!" - CAIR

"How can I get into that tent?" - Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

17 posted on 07/31/2007 11:14:31 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Compromise on your vote and you get a compromised government.)
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To: Dr. Thorne

Not sure. But, if it was at Ward Churchill’s now defunct alma mater, that would be enough.

One good thing about Ward Churchill’s former employer is that they have a good opera program with beautiful and traditional stagings. The good thing is that they have not made the College of Music a political entity (yet).


18 posted on 07/31/2007 11:20:46 AM PDT by keepitreal
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To: Greg F

Mozart DID have a bit of difficulty “selling” Abduction because a harem was considered a brothel.


19 posted on 07/31/2007 11:20:46 AM PDT by freepertoo
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To: Dr. Thorne

YOU are right.


20 posted on 07/31/2007 11:21:24 AM PDT by freepertoo
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To: Old Professer

I’ve always thought that going to the Opera made as much sense as taking out the garbage in a tuxedo.
_______________________________________________________

Awwwww. I love Mozart. Funny thing though. We do usually have a drink on the Waste Management Mezzanine at the S. Florida performing arts center. S. Florida you know. Wayne Huizenga gave a donation. Nothing quite as a romantic as the Waste Management Mezzanine.


21 posted on 07/31/2007 11:24:24 AM PDT by Greg F (<><)
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To: mojito
Until now, New York’s Metropolitan Opera has stood resolutely against Regietheater decadence. In fact, its greatest gift to the world at the present moment is to mount productions—whether sleekly abstract or richly realistic—that allow the beauty of some of the most powerful music ever written to shine forth.

This guy hasn't seen the current Fidelio.

ML/NJ

22 posted on 07/31/2007 11:30:18 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: freepertoo

Mozart DID have a bit of difficulty “selling” Abduction because a harem was considered a brothel.
_______________________________________________________

Mozart could have written operas with Masonic subtexts and I’d forgive him. Oh, wait, . . .


23 posted on 07/31/2007 11:35:24 AM PDT by Greg F (<><)
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To: Greg F

ROFL!!!!!!!!


24 posted on 07/31/2007 11:59:40 AM PDT by freepertoo
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To: mojito

Thank you for posting this. As an opera buff, I will be better informed about where to put my dollars. How sad, that western culture now has to be protected from the very lands that created it.


25 posted on 07/31/2007 12:00:12 PM PDT by tanuki (u)
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To: Old Professer

Mozart’s operas have something wonderfully special about them...like his uplifting music.


26 posted on 07/31/2007 12:00:35 PM PDT by freepertoo
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To: mojito

I like Opera way better than FireFox


27 posted on 07/31/2007 12:13:51 PM PDT by stylin19a (Don't buy a putter until you have had a chance to throw it.)
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To: mojito
The Abduction from the Seraglio does not call for a prostitute’s nipples to be sliced off and presented to the lead soprano. Nor does it include masturbation, urination as foreplay, or forced oral sex.

Otherwise known to Bill Clinton as "Last Tuesday Night"...

28 posted on 07/31/2007 1:29:08 PM PDT by Monkey King
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To: Monkey King

This is the part of the show where we slice the prostitute's nipples off.

29 posted on 07/31/2007 1:44:51 PM PDT by Greg F (<><)
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To: Dr. Thorne
The problem in Europe is that the opera houses are supported by the state (kinda like NPR and PBS). Therefore, they can mount any crappy, puerile production and still get paid. The reviewers are perverted sycophants who love anything ugly. The audiences generally boo these repulsive, filthy stagings. The directors get lots of press and enjoy the publicity of being "notorious".

That's pretty much true, at least about Germany. I tried picking my way through some German newspaper accounts of these theatrical controversies. It seemed like they were the great cultural controversies of the century. When I saw in plain English what the arguments were about I had to laugh that such Dreck was taken seriously.

I don't think it's so much that the reviewers are perverted, though. These controversies sell papers, or at least get people to look in the culture section, and keep reviewers and editors employed.

30 posted on 07/31/2007 2:14:03 PM PDT by x
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To: mojito
To the producers of this perversion of Mozart, from Osmin, the Harem Guard (and villain) of the Abduction etc.:

"O, wie will ich triumphieren,
Wenn sie euch zum Richtplatz fuehren,
Und die Haelse schnueren zu..."

"Oh, how I will triumph, when they take you to the Place of Judgment, and the Noose gets tight..."(!!)

31 posted on 07/31/2007 7:41:08 PM PDT by Chairman Fred (@mousiedung.commie)
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To: sitetest
!
32 posted on 07/31/2007 9:47:17 PM PDT by neb52
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