Like Stendhal when he first saw Rossini’s Cenerentola in Trieste in 1823, I was left stone cold by Rossini’s Cendrillon last night in Lyon. Stendhal complained that in Trieste nothing had been left to the imagination. As well, in Lyon nothing, absolutely nothing was left to the imagination.
Each March France’s splendid OpÈra de Lyon mounts a cycle of operas that speak to a chosen theme. Just now the theme is MÈmoires — mythic productions of famed, now dead, late 20th century stage directors. These directors are Klaus Michael Gr¸ber (1941-2008), Ruth Berghaus (1927-1996), and Heiner M¸ller (1929-1995).
Maybe there can be no bigger feat than making it through Les Contes d’Hoffmann in the Laurent Pelly version without a hitch or two.