GÉRARD MORTIER SHAVES!
Gérard Mortier, washes, shaves and arrives on time for appointments. So far, so other than Gergeiev. Which you prefer is a matter of taste, or perhaps tastebuds.
Politically, however, Gégé, as he is known here, and I mean Mortier, is WAY out. Leaves Gergeiev behind pedaling a tricycle.
Take the latest issue of "Ligne 8", which happens to be the Paris Opera's official quarterly. The garish, odd-smelling journal springs open in your hands to a double-page editorial by Mortier entitled “European Art, instrument of the Union”, which has to be read jadies and lentilmen, to be believed.
Now, the French population went out three years ago, and voted more or less as one man against the Constitutional Treaty for Europe. The Irish population has just risen up to do precisely the same.
Nothing daunted, Mortier puts pen to paper with every argument in the book - hackneyed ones at that - in favour of the Lisbon Treaty. The usual - prevents war, and so forth. Tell that to the US military advisors crawling all over a European city known as Tiflis!
Anyway, as an expression of strictly personal opinion, that the author of these lines, by the way, declines to share, one might be tempted to say, "Mortier has a right to his own, so why Not?" Or at least “Why Not?” - in the Op-Ed pages of Le Figaro, Les Echos or Libération, NOT in the Opera quarterly.
But the line must be drawn somewhere.
To Mortier, “the Treaties of Rome, Maastricht and Lisbon may be nothing but crutches, but they are crutches that Europe must lean upon, if she is to heal properly from World War II. Her convalescence has been hindered by the persisting spectre of the Nation-State (...).”
‘SPECTRE’ of the Nation-State? Go tell that to General de Gaulle!
To give one an idea of how incoherent, or, more likely insincere, is the current General Director of the Paris Opera, it transpires that a mere two days ago, viz., August 25th 2008, a telegramme from Mortier reached Nike Wagner, Intendant of the Bayreuth Festival, proposing his candidacy to run the Festival. Richard Wagner! Whose most fervent admirers are hard put to present his ‘oeuvre’ as anything other than a paean to crude nationalism, and certainly not of the Gaullist, but of the very worst ilk.
So either M. Mortier has never come across Richard Wagner and wishes to run Bayreuth in order to get to know him better (unlikely), or else he is being incoherent (still more unlikely), or - he is being patently insincere.
Tiens, d’ailleurs, “Tristan” will shortly be up at the Bastille with scenography by Mortier’s Muse, the ‘videast’ Bill Viola. Again, incoherency, or insincerity? Mortier denounces Western materialism up and down the whazoo in this editorial. But does Bill Viola get paid for his work at Paris, or is it pro bono? And might the latter’s intriguing collaboration with highly official US institutions be pro bono as well? Does that collaboration have nothing at all to do with the ‘Spectre’ of the Nation State?
Perhaps Mortier thinks that we were all born yesterday, and that we none of us trouble to read the newspapers, busy as we are with Videasty, or whatever. But I baulk, Gérard, at your suggesting that the Red Brigades, Rote Armee Fraktion and Action Directe were an expression of “opposition” to Western materialism. No. These were terrorists, run top down by certain secret services, and their business was to kill the very people who opposed the imperial policies that Mortier now, and so very insincerely, purports to denounce.