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Encyclopedia > Regietheater

Regietheater (in English, director's opera; more commonly producer's opera) is a term that refers to the modern (essentially post-WWII) practice of allowing a 'director' or 'producer' such freedom in devising the way a given opera is staged that not only may the composer's specific stage directions (where supplied) be completely disregarded, but also major elements of geographical location, chronological situation, casting and plot. German soldiers at the Battle of Stalingrad World War II was the most extensive and costly armed conflict in the history of the world, involving the great majority of the worlds nations, being fought simultaneously in several major theatres, and costing tens of millions of lives. ... Sydney Opera House: one of the worlds most recognizable opera houses and landmarks Opera refers to a dramatic art form, originating in Europe, in which the emotional content or primary entertainment is conveyed to the audience as much through music, both vocal and instrumental, as it is through the...


Historically, it can be argued that 'Regietheater' began with the work of Wieland Wagner (1917-1966), who in the years after WWII responded to the profound problematisation of his grandfather's work that resulted from its earlier appropriation by the Nazis by designing and producing 'minimalist' and heavily 'symbolic' stagings of Wagner operas in Bayreuth and elsewhere. Guided by the theories of Adolphe Appia, Wieland Wagner's productions allegedly sought to emphasise the 'epic' and 'universal' aspects of the Wagner dramas, and were 'justified' as being attempts to explore the texts from the viewpoint of (often Jungian) 'depth psychology'. In practice this would mean, for example, that the opening act of Die Walküre (the second work of the 'Ring cycle'), specifically described as set in Hunding's forest hut, was presented on a stage shaped as a large, sloping disc: no hut was either seen or implied, and the composer's many detailed instructions relating to the actions of 'Wehwalt', Sieglinde and Hunding within the hut were flatly disregarded even where the details of the scoring meant that they were underlined or illustrated musically. Wieland Wagner, (born 1917, died 1966). ... Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813 – February 13, 1883) was an influential German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as he later came to call them). ... This article is about minimalism in art and design. ... Bayreuth is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb and the Fichtelgebirge. ... Carl Gustav Jung Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875 – June 6, 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the neopsychoanalytic school of psychology. ... Depth psychology is a broad term that refers to any psychological approach examining the depth (the hidden or deeper parts) of human experience. ... Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) is the second of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner. ...


As recent examples of 'Regietheater' at its most blatant one might cite an American production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in which a character was seen to indulge in intravenous drug-abuse, or an English National Opera production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera that at one point imported toilet cubicles and representations of gang rape. Slightly less recent was the 1976 Patrice Chéreau production of the 'centenary' Bayreuth 'Ring' that apparently sought to make manifest an 'anti-capitalist' and even Marxian sub-text held to be present in the work: as a result, Wagner's innocently mischievous 'Rhine-daughters' became three ragged whores plying their trade near a hydro-electric dam; Siegfried used an industrial steam-hammer to forge his sword, and an apparently demented Brunnhilde eloquently apostrophised a horse that was not seen at any point. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was one of the most significant and influential of all composers of Western classical music. ... Le Nozze di Figaro, is a comic opera composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Beaumarchais. ... The London Coliseum, home of the English National Opera English National Opera (ENO), located at the Coliseum Theatre on St. ... VERDI is an acronym for the Italian unification movement, named after the composer Giuseppe Verdi (ardent supporter of the movement) VERDI stands for Vittorio Emmanuelle, Re D Italia (Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy) Categories: Historical stubs ... Un Ballo in Maschera, or A Masked Ball, is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi with text by Antonio Somma. ... Patrice Chéreau (born November 2nd, 1944 in Lézigné, France) is a French director, film maker, actor, and producer. ... Bayreuth is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb and the Fichtelgebirge. ... In economics, a capitalist is someone who owns capital, presumably within the economic system of capitalism. ... Marxian economics refers to a body of economic thought stemming from the work of Karl Marx. ...


Supporters of 'Regietheater' will insist that works from earlier centuries not only permit but even demand to be radically re-invented in ways that not only 'fit' the contemporary Zeitgeist but even strive to connect them with situations and locations of which the original composers and librettists could not have conceived. Opponents, however, will accuse such producers of shallowness, crudity, sensationalism, lack of real creativity, insensitivity to the richness of the original setting, neglect of the role played by the music, 'Oedipal' hostility to the composer and libretttist, of pandering to the appetites of ephemeral journalism, and more besides. Stories also circulate of 'celebrity' producers who, though they cheerfully impose their 'interpretations' upon other people's operatic masterworks, are not actually able to follow musical scores and are observed in the theatre to be working from CD booklets in which the composer's original stage-directions are not reproduced. Look up Zeitgeist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Oedipus complex is a concept developed by Sigmund Freud, who was inspired by Carl Jung (he described the concept and coined the term Complex), to explain the maturation of the infant through identification with the father and desire for the mother. ...


The rise of 'deconstructionism' gave a new lease of life to 'Regietheater' in Europe and elsewhere. Prominent American 'deconstructionists' active on the Continent include Peter Sellars, David Alden, and Francesca Zambello. The term deconstruction was coined by French philosopher Jacques Derrida in the 1960s and is used in contemporary humanities and social sciences to denote a philosophy of meaning that deals with the ways that meaning is constructed and understood by writers, texts, and readers. ... Peter Sellars Peter Sellars (born 1957) is a leading American theater director, renowned for his modern stagings of classical operas and plays. ... Francesca Zambello (born 1956) is a leading American opera and theatre director. ...


See also

See also the List of opera directors.

Opera Terms

Aria • Arioso • Bel canto • Cabaletta • Castrato • Coloratura • Comprimario • Da capo • Diva • Intermezzo • Leitmotif • Libretto • Prima donna • Recitative • Regietheater • Sprechgesang This article is about the musical term aria. ... Below is a list of terms used in musical terminology which are likely to occur on printed or sheet music. ... The term Bel Canto may refer to: Belcanto, a vocal technique; or Bel Canto, a novel by Ann Patchett. ... A Cabaletta is form of aria within 19th century Italian opera. ... A castrato is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity. ... Coloratura is an ornate, flowery style in classical singing. ... A Comprimario is a secondary role in an opera or singing. ... Da Capo may refer to: Da Capo (Ace of Base album), a 2002 album by the Swedish pop band Ace of Base Da Capo (Love album), a 1967 album by the American rock band Love D.C. ~Da Capo~, a 2002 renai game by Circus This is a disambiguation page... A diva is a female opera singer, but now the term also refers to a popular female performer of non-operatic works. ... InterMezzo is a distributed file system written for Linux, distributed with a GPL licence. ... A leitmotif (also spelled leitmotiv) is a recurring musical theme, associated within a particular piece of music with a particular person, place or idea. ... A libretto is the complete body of words used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, sacred or secular oratorio and cantata, musical, and ballet. ... Look up Prima donna on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Originally used in opera companies, prima donna is Italian for first lady. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, cantatas and similar works, is described as a melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ... Sprechgesang (German for speech song) or Sprechstimme (speech voice) is a technique of vocal production halfway between singing and speaking. ...


 
 

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