Opera Overture and Directorial Commentary: An (un)Happy Abuse?
Notes in the Margin of a Question by Osthoff
The seventh and last question proposed by Wolfgang Osthoff in his essay on the art work and its performing process can be reformulated in this way: is it right to comment on stage instrumental opera pieces like the ouverture which originally did not involve a stage direction? Osthoff reasserted the clear distinction among sections that were entirely musical and sections that were dramatic-musical, being the opera proportions at risk. Nowadays, pondering about the whole opera theoretical structure, Osthoff seems to adopt a generalization that may be hard to support. Examining a few performances as a pattern of a reviewed interpretation on the basis of Alberto Bentivoglio’s devoted studies upon Giorgio Strehler’s work as a director, this paper suggests four kinds of solutions. For example, it shows that a priori prohibition to create either a stage commentary related to the mere musical sections such as the ouverture or for the others considered as not strictly musical parts does not actually exist.
Keywords: Ouverture • Production • Opera • Osthoff