[NOTE: This entry has been edited as of 8:59 PM Eastern on 25 Oct (as has the original Opera-L post) to polish the language a bit for clarification's sake and to restore an unintentionally omitted remark.]
To provoke discussion, a member of the venerable online opera listserve Opera-L, under the subject head "The Arrogance of Bieito", quotes Brit classical music critic Michael White from a piece written for The Telegraph titled "Why stage an opera if you don't believe in it? A question for Calixto Bieito at ENO":
I carry no torch for Fidelio: it’s not an opera I love, and I certainly wouldn’t want to direct it because I’m not sure it works. But that’s the issue. If you don’t believe in a piece you shouldn’t do it. Calixto Bieito clearly doesn’t believe in this opera, and it would be better if he’d left it alone.To which we dutifully responded:
But what Michael White wrote of Calixto Bieito in his article for _The Telegraph_ is true of almost every Eurotrash (_Konzept_) Regietheater Regie. It's practically what defines a Eurotrash Regie. Eurotrash Regies have zero interest in what the original opera's creator intended, and even less interest in the music. They care only about what the original opera's *story* (i.e., the story as set forth in the libretto) *suggests* to them for a story of their own invention that they want (or would want) to tell. As far as the music and all that singing goes, it's for them merely an intrusive annoyance they have to put up with because part and parcel of, and unavoidable in, fraudulently misrepresenting their resulting new stageworks as "new interpretations" — or, worse, "new stagings" — of existing, mostly canonical operas. And, no, I'm not being in the least hyperbolic or rhetorical in any of the above.As always in such cases, we reprint the above merely to make a record of it here on S&F.