In Europe only a few theater stage directors are operatically more famous than Peter Stein (pronounced Pay-tear), to mention Sir Peter Hall, Patrice Chereau and Giorgio Strehler as examples.
Back in 1989 Ken Russell opened his Genovese Mefistofele with heavenly choirs contemplating the divinity of a praying mantis.
Tristan has been a fairly frequent visitor in Genoa over the past sixty years (post WW II). Tullio Serafin conducted the Isolde of Maria Callas there in 1948.
It takes some courage these days for an opera company to program a Gian Carlo Menotti opera. Nonetheless last month the OpÈra de Marseille defied current sensibilities to give us a new production of The Saint of Bleecker Street.
Concert opera has a long and glorious tradition in Montpellier. Each year the Orchestra National de Montpellier regales us with one or two during the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier (July).
If you want Italian opera go to Italy and hope for the best — like conductor Daniel Oren’s Manon Lescaut two years ago in Genoa.
Parsifal had its first performances in Bayreuth in 1882 where it was soon seen by Wagner’s soul mate Friedrich Nietzsche. And there the friendship ended.
The OpÈra National de Montpellier sometimes rises to artistic heights, and even when it fails its attempts are often interesting.
Rare repertory but not truly rare, Massenet’s Cendrillon makes an appearance from time to time.
Sir Peter Hall created this production of Otello at Chicago Lyric Opera in 2001.