31 Jan 2006
Don Giovanni, Palais Garnier, Paris
By Richard Fairman [Financial Times, 31 January 2006]
Last Friday was Mozart Day - 250 years since music's greatest prodigy was born in Salzburg. Opera houses worldwide celebrated the event, but the Opéra national de Paris was particularly keyed up after word went out that there was a scandal in town. The Austrian film director Michael Caché Haneke, known for his bleak and transgressive, even sado- masochistic movies, had come to Paris to direct his first opera. A news blackout increased the thirst for rumour and, as the curtain fell, well-primed TV crews rushed into the auditorium to film the audience baying for his blood.