The Corner

A Conductor’s Heroic Words

In an interview with the Corriere della Sera, Lorin Maazel blasted contemporary opera productions — particularly those at the Salzburg Festival. He said, among other things, “I’ve had enough — enough with weirdly provocative stagings by arrogant directors who think that innovation means boring the audience using public funds. . . . Often these directors are simply uneducated.”

My hero. On this general subject, if you’d like to see my review of Salzburg’s Don Giovanni, go here. For a review of a much better production (Otello) — go here. These reviews were published in the New York Sun.

More good news, besides the Otello? For a review of the young Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz — a phenom — go here. And some mixed news? For reviews of the Vienna Philharmonic — in a Bartók evening and a Brahms performance — go here.

I suppose the worst thing I ever saw in Salzburg (which is saying something) was a production of Der Freischütz (Weber’s opera) — perverse, anti-American, and totally destructive. Here is that review. It ended,

One of the tragedies here is that Mr. Richter [the stage director] is evidently a talented and skillful man. He has simply been engulfed by the ideology and superstition of the culture around him. He and his colleagues love to cry against America and Judeo-Christian civilization, and they do so to much applause. One can only wish them luck under Sharia.

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