Regie Update

Herheim Meistersinger

Peter Gelb is in Salzburg and dropping big hints about the Met’s future, which include importing Stefan Herheim’s new production of Meistersinger, an unnamed production by Calixto Bieito, and producing Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, he tells Gert Korentschnig in the Vienna paper Kurier. (Something may have been lost in translation here, since he says that Bieito will direct at the Met again, which is impossible since he hasn’t yet.) While all of this rates highly on the awesome-o-meter, he also says that Robert Lepage will be back again (urg).

Why didn’t he give this interview to the Times‘s Anthony Tommasini, who is also in Salzburg; or the New Yorker‘s Alex Ross, who is as well? This is quite rude to loyal Met audience members who care about these things. Some of them will be hostile to this development, but many would welcome it, and it seems bad form to talk about it behind New York’s back.

(While Tommasini did mention the Herheim Meistersinger news, I believe the rest is new. Of course it’s possible Gelb told Tommasini and the Times just didn’t run it. And Alex Ross pointed out to me that he generally doesn’t cover this kind of news. Which reminds us how few options there are for music coverage in New York, alas.)

Thanks to Intermezzo for picking this up. Also, take it all with a grain of salt. Some previous rumored adventures in Met Regie have fallen through.

If you aren’t in Salzburg–as I, sadly, am still not–there’s still plenty to watch on the internet:

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9 Comments

  1. It strikes me that many of the directors Gelb has brought in have been pulling their punches at the Met. McVicar–I like the Trov but it was pretty conventional, Anna and Maria were snooze fests and Ceaser was a bit too cute for my taste. What the idiot video director let the HD audience see of the Alden Ballo looked interesting but I will have to reserve judgment until I actually see it at the house. Not that it will ever happen but would love to see the Herheim Boheme at the Met just for the riot it would cause among the blue hairs (BTW in 40 years of going to the opera this DVD was the first time I understood why so many people love this opera). If we were going to replace the Carsen Onegin (which I like very much) why not Herheim's brilliant Onegin (another I have on DVD) with to quote Boulezian a "Met Opera Nightmare." Bryan

  2. "Why didn't he give this interview to the Times's Anthony Tommasini, who is also in Salzburg; or the New Yorker's Alex Ross, who is as well?"

    Agree with you on New York but would add that it's strange from the Austrian side too, as Pereira enjoys the international importance the NYT confers (and milked last year's Ouverture spirituelle front page for all it was worth). Gert is wonderful though, a true Viennese charmer who has a flair for getting, erm, das Gelb' vom Ei.

    Stichwort Tomassini: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLeyp5QXLnk. (The Dial M post made me think there is a British cultural reference to be made here).

  3. Bryan, I think that's a fair point, particularly w/r/t Alden. I would keep the Carsen Onegin and dump the Schenk Rusalka in favor of the glorious Herheim one, if I were deciding.

    12: Yeah, I agree that an incident of Viennese charm may have been involved here. Gelb is limited in how much he can challenge his audience (no Met head is ever going to be Mortier), and Tommasini probably wouldn't like the idea of Bieito (as his Ring review indicated). But it still feels like crap for him to play some innovation cards in Europe that he hadn't bothered to reveal to his home audience first.

  4. I believe a new Rusalka with Opolais is planned as part of the fill in for the cancelled Ring Cycles in whatever season that is. All Zef and Schenk (and for that matter Sher and Zimmerman) productions should be destroyed IMO. No way Gelb is talking to Alex Ross after his review of the Ring–I bet Gelb would like to cancel the New Yorker's press credentials. Bryan

  5. "Why didn't he give this interview to the Times's Anthony Tommasini, who is also in Salzburg; or the New Yorker's Alex Ross, who is as well? This is quite rude to loyal Met audience members who care about these things.
    Some of them will be hostile to this development, but many would welcome it, and it seems bad form to talk about it behind New York's back"

    Excuse me?

    Is New York some dowager aunt who is easy to offend? Or an insecure fop who needs to be flattered? Gelb has several reasons for wanting to carefully manage spin. If he'd opened this up to Ross, for example, it wouldn't have taken 30 seconds before the conversation segued to questions about Lepage and a machine in mothballs. As an impresario is he supposed to create excitement & enthusiasm (NB when Parterre picked up on the possibilities a few days ago), OR should he instead, feed himself to the purveyors of negativity and blame? Whatever his future, the guy seems to be doing a decent job of keeping the focus on the stage. It's ironic considering that we're watching the Lepage Ring in Toronto (via PBS in Buffalo).

    I'll tell you what's rude, Zerbinetta. Taking shots at a guy when he seems to be doing something right. I don't envy the man.

  6. Just a note on the Salzburg Falstaff: It is not just set in "a" retirement home but in the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti that Verdi himself founded in Milan for retired singers.
    Kind regards

  7. Take a deep breath, commenter no. 5, I think you are taking this far more seriously than I meant it. But communicating with the public is part of Gelb's job. If he wants to brag about getting Herheim and Bieito he should have to also come to terms with the Ring he created, for one thing. Accountability is part of the job. Also, for you, watch the gendered language, it's seriously insulting.

    Commenter 6–Indeed! Sounds cool.