Monday, 12 March 2012

Giving Out at the Opera: A Masterclass from the Bavarians

The Royal Opera hit the news last week when its new production of Rusalka was jeered and booed from the stalls. Reactions after the event were divided between those (mostly in the right wing press – here's the Telegraph and the Mail) who thought the Regietheater production deserved all it got, and more moderate voices on opera blogs complaining about the audience's behavior.
Paul Kilbey, writing at Culture Wars, has pointed out that the booing, at least during the curtain calls, wasn't half as rowdy as we'd been led to believe. If nothing else, this goes to show that the Brits aren't much good at kicking up a fuss.
Compare and contrast with the opening night of Die Walküre at Bavarian State Opera in Munich yesterday. Act III in this new production from director Andreas Kriegenburg opens with a few minutes of dancing before the music starts. And the audience didn't like it, not one bit. Have a listen to their reaction (the stamping is coming from the stage I think, but I could be wrong):

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