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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mazeppa still misrepresented

I've written about this before here, but had to do it again. Seeing this nonsense repeated in the mainstream press over and over just drives me batty.

After the chainsaw Mazeppa and the railway-decapitation Mazeppa, Peter Stein's Lyon production of Tchaikovsky's spectacular opera is bound to seem unsensational. ... [However] the bulk of the work is presented as straightforward Russian epic, as the composer intended. But then, as Stein has recognised, no more than this is needed ... even if the niceties of Ukrainian separatists feuding with Cossack landowners could be said to lack universal interest.

Ok, so will media types ever come to realize that the Cossacks *were* the separatists?? And that they wanted to get *their* land back from the Russians ... and before them, from the Poles??

I dunno, Cossacks fighting for freedom and their land doesn't seem such a hard thing to comprehend. Maybe mainstream writers could do a bit of research if they're not really familiar with the region? Like maybe, read a few books and talk to a few reputable historians ... although admittedly, that requires effort. Maybe that's the problem. (Or maybe not.)

At any rate, it's good to see that the opera and the story (however mangled) are getting some publicity. With any luck, audiences will be more intelligent than the reporters.

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