I didn’t like Robert Icke’s new Oresteia as much as I hoped I would. It has some fine moments, but it is inconsistent in delivering them. Worse, it suffers from a drastic crisis: in updating the Ancient drama and in removing the supernatural and favouring the domestic, it etiolates it of its true force.
I had expected Tchaikovsky but I had not expected an orgy in animal costume during the intermezzo, which I also got*. Actually in essence I got three hours of Alden madness, to the detriment of Tchaikovsky’s very fine score, which not even some excellent singing or playing could quite overcome.
Calixto Bietio’s interpretative decisions usually upset either sensibilities or preconceptions. I for one greatly enjoy his bizarre tamperings and excursions into opera. It may be Regie, but it is intelligent regie. More than any other director, Bieito’s choices always refract the modern world through opera’s lens: no mean feat for works that might be hundreds of years old. Which is why this staging of Carmen was surprising: it wasn’t greatly upsetting or contentious.