Opera audiences are famous for noisy, narrow-minded purists who expect the theatrical content to have remained static. Their demands, however, fall short of calls for a return to gas lighting, painted backdrops. They grow very upset that directors and designers have the bare-faced cheek to re-interpret the works for audiences who have the effrontery a) to expect genuinely exciting theatre, and b) to go to the opera without knowing the work inside out.
Alden is famous for dramatising the emotional subtext of the pieces he directs whether the pain of Ann Murray's descent into despair in Ariodante, or the political passions cutting across Simon Boccanegra, both of which were illuminated by the physical staging. This Tannhuser is no exception. Ban the opera-phobes from the room, curl up, and let the work take you over.Reuse content