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As the story says, Bergé was best known for firing Daniel Barenboim as the music director at the newly built Opéra-Bastille, six months before it opened and before Barenboim had conducted a note of music there. Barenboim planned a measured start-up in the new house with the newly organized orchestra, with relatively few performances at first while they took the measure of the Opéra-Bastille and fixed the many possible problems, quite a few of which turned out to be real. At the time, Barenboim had done relatively little opera, and of course he wasn't French, so it was easier to dismiss him than it would later become, after he took charge of the Berlin State Opera where he's still general music director 25 years later. Meanwhile, back at the Bastille, Bergé replaced Barenboim with Myung-Whun Chung, who was all but unknown, no doubt more malleable, and certainly much cheaper than Barenboim. He in turn was fired, four years later, when Bergé's tenure ended. Some czar! Only in Paris...
Thanks for that report--what some of these people come up with for opera productions really distresses me-then when you get a wonderful production from NYCO of La fanciulla del West TOMMASINI begrudgingly has to snipe at it! Phooey!
"But the very traditional staging, by the director Ivan Stefanutti, is uninspiring; simple props and set pieces are rolled into place against generic-looking projected images of snowcapped mountains and such."
What prop could he produce that would be more inspiring-maybe an image of Aleppo like Glimmerglass did with Donizetti's Siege of Calais. Maybe a Bowery Bar in present day NYC. Regards, Len
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