"Ladies and gentlemen from all over the world, welcome to this brand new forum destined to all those opera lovers. It is my intention to create a cultural space to remember the great composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, as well as all the stars that walked through the most famous stages around the world like Caruso, Gigli, di Stefano, Pavarotti... I also intend this forum to be a debating space where readers can state their opinions, ideas, advises, likes and dislikes.

Through the last years opera has been losing popularity at the expense of more modern music, and though the heyday of the latter is a social and cultural worldwide phenomenon, it would be of great value to retrieve the transcendental meaning of opera in the history of man.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, may the world take its seat, let the curtain raise, come up to the stage with me and be the performers of this experience..."


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Opera & Pornography

It would not take long for Opera and Porn to have more aspects in common. As it was expected, regiseurs, current owners of the opera business, do nothing but astonish us with their mises en scène, which rather than transgress could be taking out of style a spectacle in order to introduce it into another context.

Many things have change in Geneva, but certainly not so many to avoid a great shaking of the most strict puritanism basis for the appearance of a porn actor in the new production of Wagner's "Tannhäuser". Not so much for the character himself but for the fact that the scene director, Olivier Py, had shamelessly exhibit him, and without the minimum decency, in a full erection.

Having passed his forties, Olivier Py is still a sort of enfant terrible. Eventhough he made good collaborations in the Opera of Geneva, "La damnation de Faust", "Les contes d'Hoffmann", "Tristan und Isolde", this time his production of "Tannhäuser" went beyond any limit. Set in a red and black cabaret, where fluorescent lights abound, the presence of the french porn actor Hervi Pierre Gustave seems to fit quite badly in the meaning and true sense of the opera.

"I just wanted to give a sign that sexuality governs the abduction of Europe, and for that, the most explicit symbol is, whithout any doubt, an erection", in the words of Py himself to a local newspaper, and adding that to avoid any surprises he called a "professional", thus in the scene of Venusberg, the actor walks aout on stage with a full erection. The scandal, then, is served.

Nevertheless, the critics to Py do not go in detriment of the musical quality of the opera, most of all, regarding the female voices such as Nina Stemme as Elizabeth and the American Jeanne Michele Charbonnet as Venus.

Anyway, many questions are raised. Is this any form of art at all? Do we have to tolerate these spoilings? Moreover, do the artists and singers who put all their effort, technique and truthful art have to surrender to the despotic directions of some wannabe's regiseurs? Would Wagner himself agree with these kind of deviations?


Anonymous said...

Hello y gracias por pasarte por mi blog.

Yo estoy a favor de las escenografías transgresoras y novedosas siempre que tengan una coherencia dramática, aunque descontextualicen el libretto.

Ahora, cuando se pasan de mamarrachas o su intención es provocar por provocar ya pierden todo interés.

Nacho Ventura.- said...

Gracias Mocho por tu comentario y por visitar el blog!!!

Ahora venga, qué poca vergüenza la de este intento de regiseur en meter un actor porno desnudo, en el fulgor de su erección y encima simulando una penetración!

Creo yo que es una falta de originalidad y la justifican en la extravagancia.

Nuevamente gracias!