Elijah Moshinsky, Met Opera Director With Fanciful Touch, Dies at 75
His anti-picture-book concept with a strong set turned out to be more effective for the powerfully voiced, dramatically volatile Mr. Vickers. The production (which can be seen on video) and the performance of Mr. Vickers were triumphs and changed the general understanding of opera.
The next year Peter Hall, director of the National Theater in London, invited Mr. Moshinsky to direct a production of Thomas Bernhard’s play “The Force of Habit,” which Mr. Moshinsky described as a comedic parable in the BBC interview with a “group of circus performers.” tries to play Schubert’s “Forellen” quintet, but can’t. ” The production was a dismal failure and only lasted six performances.
But that same year, Mr. Moshinsky found his booth with an acclaimed production of Berg’s “Wozzeck” for the Adelaide Festival, presented by the Australian Opera (now Opera Australia). In the following years he directed more than 15 productions for the company, including “Boris Godunov”, “Werther”, “Dialogues des Carmélites” and “Don Carlos”. At the Royal Opera he presented remarkable productions of “Lohengrin”, “Tannhaüser” and “The Rake’s Progress” as well as some Verdi rarities, including “Stiffelio” and “Attila”.
Mr. Moshinsky met Ruth Dyttman in 1967 during a Melbourne Youth Theater production of Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”. He designed the sets; She was in the cast. They married in 1970. Ms. Dyttman, a lawyer, survived him along with their two sons Benjamin and Jonathan and his brothers Sam and Nathan.
Mr. Moshinsky was an active theater director and worked at the National Theater, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and other institutions. He has directed several productions for the BBC television series of Shakespeare’s plays, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with a cast of Helen Mirren, Robert Lindsay and Nigel Davenport.
It was an enchanting production, wrote John O’Connor in a 1982 review for The Times, that “fully captured every important aspect of the play, from royal romp to hilarious comedy, from threatening rumblings in the woods to joyful celebrations.”