[Opera stagings]

Pop art vulgarity sometimes seems to border on something good and genuine — but you can never tell for sure. Here are four pictures from a recent Tristan und Isolde production in the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Dmitry Chernyakov. I have read two or three reviews but will let the pics speak for themselves. A.C. Douglas should be well familiar with these sorts of stagings.

“A lot of people cried in the audience,” ends one review. Los Ricos También Lloran.

UPDATE. I’m going to post more on trenchcoats and Fricka’s rams, and comment on the comments, but right now, more troubling stuff is on my mind.

Oh, by the way — Gergiev is of Ossetian origin and hails from North Ossetia; the Mariinsky hosted an exhibit focusing on Ossetian mythology; someone has noticed an affinity between pre-Christian Ossetian myths and the Gergiev-Tsypin-Pevzner production of The Ring. A while ago, J. Cassian had a series of posts on ancient Ossetian myths. He noted an obvious similarity between Ossetian and Nordic mythology (Ossetians are Indo-Europeans, too, of Iranian affiliation) — I wonder if Gergiev had that in mind, too.


  1. Seems to me that it’s an admirable attempt to breathe new life into a tired warhorse. I’d rather see that than a heldentenor in a skirt and Prince Valient wig, that’s for sure…

  2. That play was the one from which Robert Ludlum’s The Tristan Betrayal got its title. The book is set in Moscow. It is also utter garbage, so avoid it.

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