Friday, May 16, 2008


La Cieca was doing his usual funny pictures from weird opera productions here when fromthepit hissed:

"It is of course Gerald Barry’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, from the original ENO production. I dare to reveal the answer even though to do so is against the rules, because La Cieca herself broke the rules by presenting these photos as an example of Regietheater. Presumably that term refers to a radical reinterpretation of the composer’s conception by a director. This production, a direct collaboration between composer and director on a world premiere, by definition cannot be Regietheater. An illustration of the excesses of the European stage, perhaps, or a radical reinterpretation of Fassbinder’s film, maybe, but Regietheater, no."

This refers to Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982), the great German movie director. This reminds me of a person in my past who forced me to watch all fourteen episodes of Berlin Alexanderplatz which was available at Captain Video. If you don't know what that is, please stop reading here. Die Ehe der Maria Braun was one of his more popular movies. I'm having an attack of nostalgia.

I would like to suggest that Herr Fassbinder is the godfather of the entire Regietheater phenomenon. His spirit pervades modern Germany even now, 25 years after his death. I must rent Petra.

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