Europeans call it Regietheater, or director’s theatre. Americans call it Eurotrash. It’s a matter of priorities and perspectives.
Once upon a time, opera performances were essentially about singing. Scenery was something decorative in the background. A tree looked like a tree. If it was wrinkled or faded, no one cared as long as the tenor sounded loud and the soprano sounded sweet. Drama became part of the equation only if the singer on duty happened to care about acting. The stage director was a traffic cop, often anonymous.