How can "one of the leading opera houses of the world" (self-declared) present a paying audience, foreign visitors and local tax-payers alike, a 37 years old production (with endless changes of scenery between every tableau) of a corrupt textual version (with about 40 % of the music composed or arranged by other hands) with mediocre singing by wellknown artists, of one of the greatest operatic masterpieces of the 19th century?
Art or business - the devil is in the details (as in each episode of Offenbach's Les contes d 'Hoffmann). But to sup with him - in public - takes a long spoon. In my operatic youth I grew up with some 40-50 years old productions alternating in repertory with brand new ones. But that was 60 years ago, a vanished world of ensemble opera, each company with its style & tradition.
(And not to forget, in e.g. Stockholm, artists renowned until this day like Elisabeth Söderström, Ingvar Wixell, Kerstin Meyer and others in any workday performance, sprinkled with veterans like Joel Berglund, Hjördis Schymberg and Set Svanholm and world stars Nilsson, Björling and Gedda as guests. Which was the level of a number of European houses at the time. Also Covent Garden. Sorry - this is not nostalgia - but an aged Hampson, an already overworked Grigolo and two nice Russian sopranos can't beat that. And so we also start asking why they sing music which Offenbach never wrote. Better sung (and more effectively re-staged) we would perhaps even suffer the Choudens version.)