Absolutamente pervertido, o Tannhäuser de Sebastian Baumgarten foi apupado do princípio ao fim! Segundo consta, a liberdade da encenação confundiu-se com uma obra grotesca, nos antípodas da concepção de Wagner.
Perversão metafórica em Bayreuth, evidentemente, mas não só... Para detalhes mais sórdidos, sugiro uma leitura atenta da critica de Mark Ronan, como segue.
«What a reception! The production team were booed to the rafters with not a single handclap, and Venus was so roundly booed she didn’t return for her second curtain call. Such a relief to cheer the chorus, along with Michael Nagy’s beautifully sung Wolfram and Günter Groissböck’s powerful voice and presence as Hermann the Landgraf.
Bayreuth is celebrating its 100th festival, delighting management if not its audience by opening with another extraordinary production, this one by 42-year-old Sebastian Baumgarten. His concept — and directors’ concepts are of the essence here — is that Tannhäuser is a huge experiment, reflecting a notion that the hero experiments with excess and its subsequent rejection.
An audience on stage observes everything, and apparently Baumgarten wanted to run the opera without intervals. When the caterers objected, he settled for the stage audience staying put while the real audience left and the experiment continued.
The Venusberg is a cage with ape-men and animals, including three giant tadpoles — could these represent the three Graces who intervene to halt the ever more frantic proceedings? When it descends below stage, we see three huge chemical processing plants in red, green and blue. Bold colours and big designs by Joep van Lieshout, but one is soon lost in the details.
The Act 1 shepherd in yellow trousers and white shirt is drunk, reappearing in a similar state at the Act 2 song contest, where scantily dressed girls in knickers and stockings, with holsters on their belts, occasionally enjoy caresses with one another, and the pregnant Venus comes to watch proceedings.
From high gantries Tannhäuser douses the other singers with water before embracing Venus, and the lovely Elisabeth slashes her wrists. Then in Act 3 Wolfram accompanies Elisabeth to the huge BIOGAS cylinder and locks her in.
“Kinder schaff’ Neues” (Children do something new) said Wagner, but did he really mean them to alter his dramas in this way? Elisabeth represents a pure type of love, and Wolfram adores her, yet he apparently murders her and sings his evening star song to the pregnant Venus, whose baby is passed round among the female chorus at the end.
Words and music remain Wagner’s, and conductor Thomas Hengelbrock gave us thrilling crescendos in the prelude to Act 3. Production concepts notwithstanding, Lars Cleveman in his many costumes sang strongly as Tannhäuser, and Camilla Nylund made an attractive Elisabeth, with Michael Nagy and Günther Groissböck as Wolfram and the Landgraf giving the performance real vocal heft.»