Yesterday we were left a bit cold by Franco Zeffirelli's rant against every other director alive except himself (and three other survivors to his wrath).
Because, really, Frengo slapped around even our dear Graham Vick and that just doesn't fly at OC's headquarters.
But then, today we heard that the Traviata that just premiered at the Opera Garnier in Paris -- conducted by the appalling Sylvain Cambreling -- has been designed by the director, Swiss professional provocateur (*yawn*) Christophe Marthaler, as a twisted hommage to Edith Piaf, with a pinch of hip-hop dance numbers sprinkled all over the party scene, too, just to be, you know, hip or something.
In an orgy of golden lamé dinner jackets and Cabaret-style neon signs, the gloomy progression of Verdi's opera is marked by Marthaler's concept -- "Violetta could be a pop-star, or a model... she belongs to the world of the VIPs", had explained Marthaler, betraying his fundamental confusion, or ignorance, about the actual heart of the opera, which is the relationship of the démi-monde with the power structure of the day -- and then the kicker: "She resembles Edith Piaf, a small woman with a great voice, who had many men but wasn't a prostitute. I've been inspired by Piaf's affair with Theo Sarapo". k.
Gerard Mortier, on his way to New York City Opera, said: "This is the best show of my career".