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Detached signifiers, dead babies and demon dwarves: Bieito's Dutchman

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The Catalan director Calixto Bieito is a successful opera director, critically acclaimed for his often violent and confrontational concepts. He has worked mainly on German stages in the last decade, where audiences have often been scandalized by the explicit imagery and radical re-interpretations in Bieito's work. This reactive review critiques his production of The Flying Dutchman for Stuttgart State Opera (2008), applying mainly semiotic and some phenomenological analysis. It also contextualizes Regietheater (director's theatre) with audience expectation. The context of the production and the impact of using an earlier (1841) version of the opera is examined with reference to direction, scenography and conceptual updating of The Flying Dutchman.
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Keywords: Calixto Bieito; Richard Wagner; Stuttgart State Opera; The Flying Dutchman; interpretation; semiotics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Leeds.

Publication date: 05 June 2008

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