The Polish tenor is deliciously indiscreet in an interview for Luister magazine with the Dutch music writer, Basia Jaworski. Slipped Disc has been offered highlights in English of Piotr’s pet hates:
Piotr Beczala :
I have a little “black book ” with the names of stage directors – and conductors – with whom I don’t want to work any more.
Calixto Bieito to start with. Also Hans Neuenfels and Martin Kusej, not for me. I am absolutely not against updating an opera, I am not against modern. I am against stupid, idiotic and far-fetched. I refuse to work as a group therapist for frustrated stage directors, I refuse to pay for their therapy.
Sometimes we do have words, lately with David Pountney in Zurich (Ballo), but after two days chat we came out, we managed. I’m in the very lucky position that I can choose. Most of my colleagues
(especially the beginners) are not.
Some think they will make it if they are in a “sensational and controversial” production, but it doesn’t work like that. In our profession you have to rely on your musicality, and your integrity.
There are stage directors who think they are God, but you owe them nothing, you have to give yourself to the genius of the composer.
My favourite stage director? Franco Zeffirelli. He is more then a stage director, he is a monument, he belongs to our cultural heritage. I also admire Guy Joosten. His Romeo an Juliet at the Met was absolutely
fantastic, we, the singers, enjoyed it enormously.
There are conductors I don’t like to work with but I won’t mention names.