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Lorin Maazel :  …but what I’m trying to say is that we’re into a world now where we cannot ignore the fact that we are dealing with people who have grown up in front of a television set.  We have people who are less and less word-oriented, people who are speed readers and can’t spell, people who are assaulted by such a vast amount of noise from their first month in a baby carriage walking down the street!  The noise factor is unbelievable.  That was not the case up until about a hundred years ago.  Now people are half deaf, they are half illiterate, and they are visually-oriented, and computer-oriented.  So where is music going to take its place?  How are you going to have people who are half deaf react to music through their ears?  And if they are half illiterate, how are they going to understand programs?  Every kind of music has a program.  Even a fugue is a program; it’s a conversation.BD:    Are there answers to these questions that you raise?
LM:    Yeah.  By using the visual media as well, you see.  I’m quite convinced that I’m on the right track, and the reaction has been very, very good.  You’re not substituting the visual; what you’re doing is using another channel to bring them to the music.  As an example, my Don Giovanni was the first real opera film, as opposed to filmed opera.  It was the first opera conceived as a film, and filmed as a film.  And it was quite successful.  For the four or five years after that film came out, there was not a performance of Don Giovanni in any opera house in the world that was not instantly sold out!  It increased the interest in the opera to such a degree that Don Giovanni became the most played, the most performed, the most staged opera in those subsequent years.


Don Giovanni (1979) directed by Joseph Losey (trailer)
Conductor Lorin Maazel : A Conversation with Bruce Duffie


Don Giovanni - film de Joseph Losey orchestre et chœurs de l’Opéra de Paris dirigé par Lorin Maazel



Lorin Maazel :  …but what I’m trying to say is that we’re into a world now where we cannot ignore the fact that we are dealing with people who have grown up in front of a television set.  We have people who are less and less word-oriented, people who are speed readers and can’t spell, people who are assaulted by such a vast amount of noise from their first month in a baby carriage walking down the street!  The noise factor is unbelievable.  That was not the case up until about a hundred years ago.  Now people are half deaf, they are half illiterate, and they are visually-oriented, and computer-oriented.  So where is music going to take its place?  How are you going to have people who are half deaf react to music through their ears?  And if they are half illiterate, how are they going to understand programs?  Every kind of music has a program.  Even a fugue is a program; it’s a conversation.

BD:    Are there answers to these questions that you raise?


LM:    Yeah.  By using the visual media as well, you see.  I’m quite convinced that I’m on the right track, and the reaction has been very, very good.  You’re not substituting the visual; what you’re doing is using another channel to bring them to the music.  As an example, my Don Giovanni was the first real opera film, as opposed to filmed opera.  It was the first opera conceived as a film, and filmed as a film.  And it was quite successful.  For the four or five years after that film came out, there was not a performance of Don Giovanni in any opera house in the world that was not instantly sold out!  It increased the interest in the opera to such a degree that Don Giovanni became the most played, the most performed, the most staged opera in those subsequent years.


Don Giovanni (1979) directed by Joseph Losey (trailer)

Conductor Lorin Maazel : A Conversation with Bruce Duffie


Don Giovanni - film de Joseph Losey
orchestre et chœurs de l’Opéra de Paris dirigé par Lorin Maazel

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