Spanish opera director Calixto Bieito's name strikes fear into the hearts & minds of blissful opera traditionalists for his provocative stage productions littered (zing!) with filth & pewp, squalid toilets, rapists & gangbangers, gun fetishists and ambitious & garish whores fulfilling all kinds of (un)happy endings -- the kind of people that your parents warned you to stay away from. It's like he skipped over the illicit drugs and rock 'n' roll of wasted youth and went straight to the YOLO sex and its sloppy, dance-on-a-parked-car-at-4am-Jägermeister-fueled blackout, loss of bodily fluids included.
Offstage, never fear: Bieito looks like your middle-aged uncle in edgy black t-shirts who lives in the Barcelona suburbs with his wife and two kids. The FT profiled the "scatalogical child" (playwright David Hare's sobriquet, not ours) on an upcoming Britten’s War Requiem for Theater Basel and Fidelio (from Munich, 2010) for the ENO in September, and among the thin quotes and meaty padding is Bieito's impression from a recent trip to Dachau's memorial/concentration camp where he gnawed at the void left in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Despite his bleating provocations, Bieito usually gets it. Will Bieito 2.0 weave transcendent layers of historical trauma -- traces, footprints, shadows, falling spaces, etc. -- into his WYSIWYG productions? It's bound to be better than nipple mutilation and biofluid fetishes!