Robert Carsen doesn’t seem disposed to treat Handel too reverentially. Although there is some of the trademark Carsen cool minimalism in his 2011 Glyndebourne production of Rinaldo (not to mention symmetrically arranged furniture) there’s also a degree of humour, as there is in his Zürich Semele. I find it very effective and, judging by the audience reaction, so did the people who saw it at Glyndebourne.
I’m a pretty Regie friendly guy but I confess to being quite bemused by the 2006 Salzburg production of Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba. Some of the production concept I totally get. Removing the unaccompanied recits and replacing them with two actors speaking a summary (in German) makes all kinds of sense. It reduces a sprawling pastorale with minimal plot to something half the length while keeping all the good music. The wonky android chorus, the hero apparently with severe motor neuron disease and Aceste shunting Silvia about in a wheelbarrow I had more problems with. The Gumbie chorus seemed particularly odd and the costumes, well see for yourself.