Wall Street Journal, 27. September 2008
Thomas M. Burton
Opera's Wild Man
With an intense, hands-on style, director David McVicar is shaking up the stage
Auszug: He spent over an hour in one rehearsal choreographing the moment when Ms. Dessay, as the teenaged Manon on her way to the convent, meets Mr. Kaufmann's 17-year-old aristocrat, who is intent on keeping her from getting there.

"When you first see him, you're supposed to look a little too long," Mr. McVicar told her. "Then, when you catch him looking at your eyes, you realize how beautiful they are." And then, he said, she must instantly look shy by averting her eyes.

He showed Mr. Kaufmann a flourish of hand gestures to use in bowing, to convey the aristocrat's station in life. The message should be, Mr. McVicar said, "I'm rich, I'm going to take over your life." Mr. Kaufmann caught on quickly.

To demonstrate another romantic scene, Mr. McVicar kissed Ms. Dessay again and again, and produced a feather to tickle her. Mr. Kaufmann followed the director's lead, using the feather, too. Ms. Dessay giggled.

Mr. McVicar smiled. But it didn't last. Soon he was agonizing over other scenes.

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Thomas M. Burton

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