One of my most favorites – Francesco Costanzo Opera Director recently met the Australian born London based Opera Director – Stephen Barlow who told Francesco that he misses, especially Melbourne each and every minute when he is away from it.
Most of their meeting constituted of Stephen telling Francesco about his nostalgic meetings with the German Opera Director – Ruth Berghaus, who is one of Stephen’s heroes and no more with us.
Stephen told Francesco that Ruth’s passion for life increased with age and her becoming a victim of cancer is one of the greatest reasons for many people to not believe in god. Stephen says that he is himself confused about the existence of god and many of his plays depict this very well.
Stephen also told Francesco that Ruth experimented with eating nothing but vegetarian food for her love for the animals and each time she would feel nauseous all day because her digestive system was that, she needed some meat at least a day.
Stephen also told Francesco that Ruth came in contact with several different Indian sages and practiced celibacy for periods of months only to find it extremely hard and even undoable many times but she tried next time nonetheless.
Stephen also told Francesco that Ruth always stayed silent about her religious beliefs with everyone in both public and private but her directing several ballets about Jewish messiahs made several Catholics campaigning to boycott her completely and they even were able to persuade some really into it which wasn’t easy as Ruth was on the peak of her career back then when her boycott by the Catholics happened.
Stephen also told Francesco that Ruth always wanted to create a play on the life and death of the German Fuhrer – Adolf Hitler but she didn’t because if she did, she would have also covered the positive aspects about the life of the Adolf Hitler and all the positive habits, attitudes and behavior of him which could have become fatal for her career and many would start thinking of her as a Neo-Nazi.