Archives for posts with tag: George von Bergen

Despite its relocation from mid-17th century Seville to the catacombs of Vienna in the early 1900s, John Lloyd Wood’s realisation of Mozart’s perennially popular morality tale is a gratifyingly conventional affair. One in which the anti-hero, in the director’s own words, is concerned more about his masculine identity than the women he seduces. In asserting his own masculinity, his primary concern is not sexual gratification but the humiliation of The Commendatore, Don Ottavio and Masetto.

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Anybody who has enjoyed an extended love affair with opera will know from their frequent disappointment that it is an art form alarmingly susceptible to being royally buggered up. Singers who – either through delusion or an inability to say no – allow themselves to be cast in roles for which they are patently ill-equipped will suck the life out of the best productions; theatre management that persists in colluding with them perpetuates both the disappointment for the audience and the damage to the reputation of the performers; directors in thrall to white-tiled bathrooms, chain-link fencing or the Third Reich can render risible a musical performance that would otherwise rank as world-class.

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