[NOTE: This entry has been updated (1) as of 9:01 AM Eastern on 28 Aug. See below.]
[NOTE: This entry has been edited as of 12:48 AM Eastern on 27 Aug to sharpen the language.]
There is today a growing number of operagoers who positively revel in the challenge of "unpacking" (to use their oft-used term) the meaning of Konzept Regietheater stagings of canonical operas as they might revel in the challenge of solving a clever rebus or acrostic; stagings which today have become a pervasive practice worldwide. It never occurs to these perverse souls (or perhaps it's the very thing that does occur to them) that any staging of an opera — any opera — that requires unpacking in order to be understood is the very definition of what it means to be perverse as it reduces the music to the level of a mere (mostly inappropriate) soundtrack to the drama; a drama that rarely, if ever, bears any real relation to the drama created by the original opera's creator. Is opera today fast coming face-to-face with its frequently trumpeted death as a unique artform? Indeed, verily it is.
Update (9:01 AM Eastern on 28 Aug): See this S&F entry for an eloquent if coincidental validation of our above thoughts.