Cate Blanchett is the conductor who abuses her orchestral: "A story of power and decay"

Cate Blanchett is the conductor who abuses her orchestral: “A story of power and decay”

from Valerio Cappelli

In “Tar” the actress for the first time puts a woman at the center of the great scandals of a sexual nature that have upset classical and opera, see the domingo case

Cate Blanchett in Tár is a goddess of music. She “she is on Mount Olympus, but she in life she will fall.” She is a woman at the peak of her career, she paved the way as the musical director of a large German orchestra. The first violin, actress Nina Hoss, is her partner. They adopted a Syrian girl. But soon the harmony will fall apart. Here comes a Russian cellist on trial (Sophie Kauer, who really is). Graceful, brilliant, no inferiority complex for being the latest arrival. The conductor has an infatuation, she will try to give her and not the first part of her the solo role in the Elgar Concerto, even if once in a hundred a member of the orchestra is the soloist of a symphonic piece. The sexual harassment accusation will come, soon the video of a previous abuse of her goes into circulation.

It is the first time, in an imaginary story, that the cinema speaks of a scandal feminine in the world of music, devastated in reality by the cases of Domingo, Levine, Dutoit, and the countertenor David Daniels who ended up with her husband in handcuffs for rape. Nina Hoss talks about the “ferocity” behind the scenes in the world of music. Cate Blanchett is a champion of women’s rights but without Taliban tones, she associates the word feminist “with a concept of equality, there is a lot to do, because in art there is no female equivalent of the word master”. In music it would be impossible: the teacher would refer to elementary school. In the film she poses the case: “In space she does not say she is an austronautrice”. The fact is that the issue is slippery. Do women of power behave like men of power? The great actress, glissando, replies as follows: «I have never thought of this film in terms of genre, it is a story about human beings, about the existential condition, not about a woman. And I’m not a political agitator. Lydia is a wrong person, she is enigmatic, she has been bullied, I don’t know if we can talk about horror tones but there is something that haunts her about her past, a woman who does not know herself, betrayal for her is problematic. She tries to reinvent herself through music. You have achieved a dream, which turns into a nightmare. I was nailed in getting rid of her. Again, it is a human representation, where certain dynamics of power are triggered. At the beginning of her career she will have felt helpless, now at the age of 50, in the moment of greatest success… ».

It will not come to the process, it will start over the career from scratch in the Far East, “will look at the world differently”. His orchestra is imagined to be the Berlin Philharmonic, although the hall of the Dresden Philharmonic is not mentioned and used, but records by Karajan and Abbado, two former Berliner conductors, are shown several times. Director Todd Field recalls that it is “an investigation into power, its duration and its impact in today’s society. I wrote this film for Cate Blanchett ». You have taken lessons in German, piano and some rudiments of conducting, and you are absolutely likely on the podium. You have seen the videos of Kleiber, Abbado, Haitink, Haïm, the models to which Lydia Tár aspired, which we follow in three weeks of life, while she records Mahler’s Fifth. «The musical world is historically male, while our cast is almost entirely female. You don’t often see conductors leading the major orchestras. And maybe you get on the podium and they see you as a woman, not as a musician ».

Karajan has not yet emerged woman, there is no feminine genius. But there are many established and talented conductors of orchestras, the Lithuanian Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, the Finnish Susanna Mallki, the American Marin Alsop, the Canadian Barbara Hannigan who conducts and sings, even the Italian Speranza Scappucci, and above all the Ukrainian Oksana Lyniv, the first woman to take over an opera foundation in Italy (Bologna) and to debut at the Bayreuth Festival, in 145 years, after 176 male appearances. Yet there are still entire musical seasons without a female figure on the podium. “And in any case they rarely give them a demanding Symphony, the big pieces”. More and more women are appearing in competitions for conductors. The doubt that more can be done for gender equality remains. At the starting blocks the same possibilities should be given, without prejudice, it is not only the man who can have the charisma to lead an orchestra. “It’s still a patriarchal world,” says Cate Blanchett. In music you cannot bluff, it is completely meritocratic, whoever is worth passes. The talent, the preparation, the technique: that is the distinction. And sooner or later the transgender director or director will arrive. In the film, the protagonist mentions the pioneer Nadia Boulanger and Antonia Brico, an American of Dutch descent, who directed the Berliners in 1930, “but they were ghettoized as guest conductors”. Even before that, in 1923, almost completely unknown, Eva Brunelli.

September 1, 2022 (change September 1, 2022 | 17:23)

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