Friday, November 15, 2013

Minnesota Opera’s “Arabella”

For its presentation of Richard Strauss’s “Arabella”, Minnesota Opera had borrowed the 2012 Santa Fe Opera production.

The physical production—using a curvilinear unit set that swiveled—was cheap, unattractive and unstylish. Stage design and costume design were by Tobias Hoheisel.

The staging was provincial. The stage director, Tim Albery, demonstrated a pronounced fondness for broad, low comedy. His direction, fundamentally, was crude.

Albery did not possess a firm grasp of the material. The subtleties of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s brilliant scenario flew thousands of miles over Albery’s head.

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