Sunday, 12 April 2015

Trouble with 'Tannhäuser'

Opera has a reputation amongst those perhaps unfamiliar with it altogether, for being rather staid and uncontroversial. Periodically, something is so outrageous it gets banned. And the mainstream press take it up/elevate it. Wagner helps because his music is at least mildly scandalous to start. So that Tannhäuser set in a concentration camp (Dusseldorf, 2013). Throw Russia into the equation, and there is real potential for fireworks.

In Siberia,  Boris Mezdrich was fired by the Minister of Culture. Why? His production of Tannhäuser (again) was causing ructions as it was critical of the state religion, Now this is scary of a different order of mangitude. I can't imagine Sajid Javid would sack anyone unless they failed to make enough money (only half a joke: viz. ENO debacle over funds). 

Gergiev, ever happy to oblige, has generously offered a vanilla Tannhäuser (slipped disc); all that money and power comes at a cost. Gergiev the opera, perhaps?
Of course all this is wrong, but there often seems a trend to critcise disproportionatley. And dare I bring up, yet again Klinghoffer-gate? If artistic freedom matters in one place, it matters in all. The rumbling continues over Valentina Lisitsa and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In short, you can't have your cake and eat it. For my part, it has to be something directly inciting hatred before it should be banned.
Valentina Lisitsa f
Valentina Lisitsa f
Valentina Lisitsa for he

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