Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Deborah Warner's Vienna Traviata

In haste, here's a link to my review of Deborah Warner's new Traviata in Vienna. It's smartly updated, looks great, and with a cast and conductor hovering around and about the 30-year mark, made me feel rather old. As I explain in the review, though, there's a danger in updating a work that -- for better or worse -- is so deeply entrenched in 19th-century values; and I'm not sure Warner really finds a solution to the problems that are thrown up. Here's a little video, anyway, focussing on the production's Alfredo, to give a taster.

It's certainly great to see the Theater an der Wien, so long, like many of London's great theatres, clogged up with entertainments of a less lofty sort, staging a small but eminently interesting opera season, and breathing down the neck of the Staatsoper down the road. Arguably, though, Cats, which ran there for many years, is not a million miles away from the sort of popular entertainment of which Emanuel Schikaneder was such a prolific peddlar -- the theatre's founder is commemorated here on the famous Papagenotor, tucked inconspicuously down a side road.

And here's the lavish interior of the intimate auditorium, which one hardly expects when entering through the modern foyer opposite the Naschmarkt.

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