21 December 2018
We saw best and worst singers and conductors, it’s now the turn of directors, usually the favorite victim of critics everywhere!
This time we’ll prepare two TOP3s, one for revivals and one for new productions, because revivals are often better perceived while new productions are more easily criticized.
So, which are the TOP3 revival that earn the best staging rating in 2018 among Opéra, Roh, and Scala?
Third prize 96/100
The third-place is for L’Élixir d’amour by Laurent Pelly of 2006, staged at Opéra de Paris this autumn with the golden couple Lisette Oropesa and Vittorio Grigolo. This stage direction portraited a postcard-style country village in Italy of early-50s.
This production “n’a pas pris une ride” for Christian Peter of “ForumOpera” and for Damien Dutilleul (Ôlyrix) “elle s’inscrit parmi les nombreuses mises en scène de Laurent Pelly devenues des classiques”.
Second prize 97/100
The second place goes to… Laurent Pelly again! For the diptych L’Heure espagnole/Gianni Schicchi at OnP. This production of 2004 puts together Ravel and Puccini and it works “Sans doute grâce à Laurent Pelly, qui parvient à les relier” for Didier Van Moere (“Contertonet”) and the “chanteurs-comédiens tous excellents sous sa férule décapante” for Claude Helleu (“Altamusica”).
First prize 98/100
First-place for the best revival of 2018 goes to Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at Royal Opera House signed by Richard Jones!
“The familiar signatures of a Richard Jones staging – the regimented movement routines for the chorus, sinister animal masks, and a design look lurching between the 1950s and 1970s while flaunting hideous wallpaper, ugly furniture, terrible pictures and frumpy costumes summing up superfluous provincial aspirations and proprieties in an utterly selfish society that couldn’t care less about Stalin’s Five-Year Plan – have probably never suited an opera better.” (Peter Reed of “Classical Source”)
And now we’ll see the new productions of 2018 that reach the best staging rating!
Third prize 80/100
Das Wunder der Heliane was the last opera of Erich Wolfgang Korngold. This year the Deutsche Oper Berlin put it on stage with Christof Loy’s stage direction. His work was widely appreciated, Georg Kasch for “Berliner Morgenpost” underline how “Loy, Meister der Personenführung, setzt dabei ganz auf die Sängerdarsteller, ihre Ausdruckskraft. Und auf Details”.
Jürgen Gahre (“Kieler Nachrichten”) “Damit verweigert er sich optischen Effekten, mit deren Hilfe die auf der Bühne stattfindenden Wunder in ihrer Wirkung hätten verstärkt werden können”.
Second prize 82/100
The second prize goes to another rare opera, which Teatro alla Scala decided to present in a new production signed by David Pountney: Francesca da Rimini. Scenes were colossal and the direction was “debordante” for Ugo Malasoma (“Operaclick”), “complex and full of symbolism” for Renato Verga (“Bachtrack”).
First prize 88/100
The new production that earn the first place was directed by Davide Livermore for Teatro alla Scala. Don Pasquale gain a general approval by the critics, the production is “magnifico, divertente e un po’ divagante” for Alberto Mattioli (“la Stampa”). The main theme is Cinecittà and the Italian black and white movies.