- 美学 (ISSN:05200962)
- vol.67, no.1, pp.133, 2016 (Released:2017-07-18)
The staging of Norwegian opera director Stefan Herheim (1970-) is characterized by a critical musicology, such as musical hermeneutics of Lawrence Kramer. Like Kramer, Herheim takes advantage of the performative power of interpretation. His puzzle-like mise-en-scène, where a number of historical facts concerning the composer and the reception history are simultaneously visualized, is a summary of the information on the opera, which helps us to make up our stories.
Equally important are the emotional and even religious aspects of Herheim’s staging. He often directs an opera to show that its tragedy was already done at the beginning. The unrealized possibilities are suggested by the coexistence of past and present which reproduces the ambiguity of reality. We feel regrets about the past of the characters, and about our own past. This experience has a cathartic effect of what I call operatic flashback, which functions as a therapy for us because we are not sure of the rightness of our choices about life in the era of postmodern loss of legitimacy. Opera has told incessantly the failed attempts to change the course of fate, most distinctively exemplified in the myth of Orpheus. Herheim’s opera is a postmodern version of the myth.