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Pop Quiz: Regietheater

The opera world is a predominantly civilized place, but like any other subculture we have our own lexicon and, in turn, our brand of pejoratives. One of the worst words in opera is likely Regietheater, which literally translates to “director’s theater.” Often synonymous with the slightly more impolitic “Eurotrash,” Regietheater is often deployed to describe odious, deconstructionist productions and stagings that are thought to be fundamentally at odds with the dramatic impetus and mise en scènes intended by the composer and librettist. Imagine, for instance, a director, given free reign, who feels justified in staging La Bohème in a meat locker, Nozze di Figaro in a Paxil-addled psychiatric hospital or Wagner’s Ring cycle in a strip club. One of the worst examples of Regietheater I’ve seen in some time — and a pop quiz testing your Regietheater readiness — after the jump.

Sylvie Valayre in Verdi’s Nabucco, singing the difficult part of Abigaille. Staging by Hans Neuenfels, the conductor is Pietro Rizzo. Deutsche Oper Berlin, 24 February 2008

<a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/489292/” >This production of Verdi’s Nabucco, which played in February 2008 at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, amounts to an effort by stage director Hans Neuenfels to… </a> <br /> <span style=”font-size:9px;”> (<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”> surveys</a>)</span>

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