Troyens

Troyens

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

San Francisco Opera Admits It: "We're trying to sow confusion."

     
John Adams and Peter Sellars ©Terrence McCarthy/San Francisco Opera

Okay, that's a lie. What's really going on is that somebody gave John Adams and Peter Sellars very bad advice about the name of their new opera, which will be about California during the Gold Rush era. Here's the opening of the press release, which confused me rather badly:


SAN FRANCISCO OPERA TO PRESENT WORLD PREMIERE OF
GIRLS OF THE GOLDEN WEST
A NEW OPERA BY JOHN ADAMS WITH A LIBRETTO BY PETER SELLARS
WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE, FALL 2017

The new work, set during the 1850s California Gold Rush, is a
San Francisco Opera Co-Commission with
The Dallas Opera, Dutch National Opera and Teatro La Fenice

Cutesy is just not going to work in this case, although if they don't change the opera's name, opera houses in Anglophone countries will have to use La Fanciulla del West for Puccini's masterpiece.

The press release has nothing about casting, stage design, lighting, or costumes, but it refers to Sellars as "director/librettist," so I believe we can safely assume who will direct.

Given the many, many problems with the Doctor Atomic libretto, I wish that a librettist had been hired to write this libretto, but maybe Gene Scheer and J. D. McClatchy didn't have room on their calendars.

6 comments:

Dr.B said...

I agree about Mr. Sellars as librettist.

Dr.B said...

Women of the Golden West?

Steve Hicken said...

This snarks itself, so I got nothin'.

Daniel Wolf said...

[Insert joke ending with punchline: "Even cowgirls get the blues."]

kalimac said...

Isn't there more than one opera called The Barber of Seville? Not to mention a spoken-word play?

That'd be no excuse for sowing further confusion, but it's not like this problem hasn't happened before.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I don't think people confuse the Beaumarchais plays with the operas or that there is any risk of it, although who knows?

Yes, there are at least two Barber of Seville operas. The Rossini is a current repertory staple. The Paisiello was a repertory staple before the Rossini got popular in the early 19th c. I saw a semi-staged performance of the Paisiello earlier this year and it was pretty good.