For today, I present Tannhäuser, my favorite Wagnerian opera. I found a performance by the Bayerischen Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) from A.D. 1994. While I am glad to find a full video online, I am not fond of its peculiar interpretation. I know that the production is eighteen years old, but can’t the Germans move past their postwar decadence? For instance, the opening orgy leaves little to the imagination. Even with Wagner, couldn’t we have a bit of restraint and suggestion? (rated PG-13)
The modern age ever lusts after the new and bizarre. Unlike the opera’s hero, the modern West never moves beyond its illusory quest for base satisfaction toward a higher good.
Update: The video is no longer on YouTube, but I found it behind a paywall at Alexander Street. However, there is a similar though less pomo production (if that gives you an idea about the Bavarian staging) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona (rated PG-13):
Decadent interpretation, but an impressive venue . . .