Actor John Malkovich has attacked the iconic Sydney Opera House, commenting that a 2011 opera he staged at the venue was flop because of the concert hall’s “hideous” acoustics and a stage he says is only fit for a circus.
“It’s lovely to drive by on a motor boat and it has a very nice crew and very capable, but the acoustics are hideous,” the thespian said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “I mean, I don’t know, I have only played in about 200 opera houses, and it certainly has acoustics that would do an aeroplane hangar a disservice.”
“For a catholicity of reasons,” he adds, “it’s not the wisest place to put on anything … with the possible exception of maybe a circus.” Malkovich was recounting his experience in staging the rather disastrous 2011 Sydney Festival production of The Giacomo Variations at the iconic Sydney Opera House, a production that was panned by audiences and critics alike, even reportedly eliciting boos.
Apart from the acoustics, Malkovich took a swing at the Opera House’s size. “You couldn’t even throw a vegetable — which I am sure people would have loved to do — and have any hope of it ever reaching the stage. If I can’t be hit by a tomato, that tells me the stage is too big.”
The actor shared the blame a little bit, acknowledging the production probably wasn’t ready for the stage yet. “So, to a great extent the fault was in ourselves and to a great extent in the venue because more or less the same piece had a great deal more success in other places,” he added.
“Like I said, lovely people and a beautiful, iconic building on the outside, but it’s hard for me to imagine anything being good in it.” Malkovich is en route to Comic Con in San Diego to promote The Penguins of Madagascar with Benedict Cumberbatch.