Last night I went to see "La Traviata" at the Metropolitan Opera. A thing of perfection. The Verdi soaring and gripping. The performances mesmerizing.
But what really stood out was the post-modern staging. They had reduced things to their elemental best. Everything was limbic and primal. Black, white and red when there was life in the dying Violetta, and merely black and white when death was present.
At one point, the essential inanimate character in the performance, a giant clock was lit in such a way that it reminded me of the melting clocks in Dali's "Persistence of Memory."
Somehow towards the middle of the opera I thought of an anecdote I once read about the great French film director Jean Renoir. He shot, during World War II, one film for famed Fox producer Darryl F. Zanuck. Things did not go well. Renoir left with this remark: “Goodbye Mr. Zanuck: it certainly has been a pleasure working at 16th Century Fox."