Posts Tagged ‘Barrie Kosky’

What do you do with, or about, the inconvenient bits of the past, the bits that simply don’t fit with the present and its values or that create an uncomfortable tension? At least for its first two acts, Barrie Kosky’s Bayreuth production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg seems to adopt Nietzsche’s idea of critical history, holding up the past as something to be judged and overcome, and indeed presenting the past in a way that demands judgement (at the expense, as Nietzsche notes, of anything that could claim to be the ‘real’, complex and ambiguous past). What Kosky holds up for judgement, however, is not the past of late medieval Nürnberg, whose citizens (insofar as they’re supposed to be real, rather than figments of the imagination) are presented on stage as cheerful, simple, well-meaning, semi-anarchic folk, but the past represented by Richard Wagner, and the antisemitic ideas that are taken to taint his work. (more…)

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