French opera, theater and film director Patrice Chéreau has died of lung cancer, aged 68. One of the most revered, one might even say iconic directors of his era, Chéreau may have finally been defeated by Napoleon--as in his doomed, but repeated efforts to make a movie about the dictator starring Al Pacino--but that experience clearly never put him off working with outsize characters, as opera remained a passion.
Teresa Berganza, one of the truly great mezzo-sopranos of the 20th century and now in her late 70s, has given a controversial interview to 'Le Figaro.' In it she castigates today's opera directors, at least the ones who "respect neither the time nor the music." She's not the first, she won't be the last, but she's over-simplifying and distorting every bit as much as she accuses the objects of her ire of doing.