The condition of the Old Testament's Jewish slaves is compared to that of the Palestinians. Moses' likeness is borrowed from Osama Bin Laden complete with a beard, a camo jacket and an Uzi.
It's Mosè in Egitto, signed by the pen of Graham Vick, the Artistic Director of the Birmingham Opera Company, who is coming to f**k up your opera house -- Pesaro to be exact -- as tonight inaugurates the production at the Rossini Opera Festival.
OC tweeted it earlier when she browsed Corriere della Sera this morning over a cup (or four) of Konga coffee from Dean and Deluca and here's the full report (all translations are OC's kthnx)...
Vick's polemic version enlists bloodied bodies, Israeli flags, and suicide bombers (which Vick uses to symbolize the biblical plague of fire). The parting of the Red Sea and the exodus happens through a hole in the separation barrier that runs along the West Bank.
Giuseppina Manin of Corriere interviewed the British opera director and writes that the production is Vick's personal statement against fundamentalism and monotheistic religions and that the final dress rehearsal a few days ago drew out an enthusiastic applause (from where all the photos were taken) and that Vick believes that the Old Testament hid the seeds of religious fanaticism and violence.
Vick on Moses:
"It's true, he resembles Bin Laden -- on the contrary, he's an archetype. Moses summarizes in himself all of the fundamentalists. Let's not forget that every terrorist is also a freedom fighter in the eyes of someone else. And besides, Rossini presents him as always angry and threatening. His war against the Egyptians resembles very much a 'holy war' on which to speculate actual jihad. While rereading the works of Rossini, I felt the need to take into consideration how much had befallen the Middle East in the last ten years."
Manin also says that scenes in Vick's production bear witness to the torture of Guantanamo prisoners, the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis, and the 2004 Beslan massacre.
But Vick isn't necessarily grinding his political axe:
"There's no intention to provoke or to make anyone angry. I looked only to present various points of view, to push the spectator into rethinking our stories. To reflect, to participate, also emotionally. The biggest stories raise the biggest questions. It's to their merit, the sense of their continuing vitality."
Roberto Abbado conducts the Orchestra del Teatro comunale di Bologna and the cast includes Sonia Ganassi.
Graham Vick is like The Terminator of opera directors: It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.