Saturday, April 30, 2011
I have disappeared from the universe of blogging for over a month. This was not intentional; I'm just doing much more than I should be doing, and I'm frequently on the verge of collapse these days. But a miracle has occurred of sorts ... a technical problem with the National Theatre forces me to postpone the opening of our new production of Mae Naak ... so I actually "almost" have free time for a day or two.
The big question, therefore, is whether I should discuss art ... or politics? Or the politics of the arts world? Or the art of politics? Or that ever-present elephant in the room, Cambodia?
We just put on Bartok's opera Bluebeard's Castle, which is one of the cornerstones of twentieth-century opera, by the skin of our teeth. You have not lived until you have conducted a Bartok opera whilst mouthing the entire text to the diva in Hungarian. Despite the nightmarish aspects of putting this production on, however, it turned out to be one of the most artistically satisfying evenings of my career.
I realized today that I don't have a "bucket list" of operas I want to conduct before I die, and that if I did have such a list, conducting a performance of Bluebeard's Castle would definitely be on it, so I can cross it off before even having written it down. I was wondering what the rest of my operatic bucket list would consist of and I think I can narrow it down to about half a dozen, more or less in order ... 1. Wozzeck. 2. Elektra. 3. The Rest of the Ring Cycle. 4. Otello. 5. Tristan. 6. King Priam. It is of course a personal and idiosyncratic list, but there it is....
If I manage to blog again tomorrow, I'll decide at that point whether to discuss something controversial or something safe....
Posted by Somtow at 7:36 PM