The entire set is based around an over sized replica of a nude woman in the middle of what I assume to be a heart attack (based on the video into). This replica towers above the singers and is made to open and create the illusion of different settings--a leg turns into a kitchen, the nipples open like the doorways to secret passages. And the costumes are delightful: two women whose skin has been peeled off to reveal their muscles, a foppish prince, a male masochist in women's lingerie, a female sadist with her breasts and other areas "exposed." Quite delightful. Here's the link for your viewing pleasure:
After this opera finished, I decided to watch at least part of another. I wouldn't consider myself an opera buff, but I do enjoy the break from purely instrumental music from time to time. So, I browsed through the suggested videos down the right side of my iPad screen and came across a production of Wagner's Parsifal. Having never seen a Wagner opera outside of the Ring cycle, I thought this would be a nice choice.
The (non-operatic) plot thickens...
During the overture, I decided to entertain myself like any sensible person would--by taking a peak at the comments section. I found comments which were so incredibly negative toward the modern production, I felt personally offended. Many of the comments immediately discarded the production as "trash" or an "abomination to Wagner's name" simply because the director changed the setting. Now, not being too hip on the plot of the opera, I cannot claim to agree with them. My issue comes with the immediate denunciation of a new interpretation. I understand that Wagner wrote very specific notes pertaining to the environment of the opera, but why can these not be adapted to reflect a different era of human history? Can a medieval tale not be adapted into a late 19-century experience?
I find that these sticks-in-the-mud tend to be the same sticks that shudder at the thought of listening to anything written after Mahler (and even he stretches the ear for them). It seems all they want are the productions that have made the rounds for many years already--the safe productions they have grown comfortable with--and are frightened of having to accustom themselves to a new way of experiencing the same narrative.
We should forbid art from progressing forward because it's not comfortable.
I rarely do this as YouTube isn't necessarily filled with thoughtful minds, but I became so affected by these comments that I wrote a comment/response to the video. My comments weren't formed as an attack; but, as a reminder that even though new operatic interpretations and productions are valid, we may not agree with them. This does not provide us a reason to insult the many creative minds and artistic talent that all collaborated to create such a wonderful work of art.