Tuesday, May 4, 2010


This is doing the blog rounds pretty quickly, and when seen, you'll understand why.

BIG does as big is, and New York, and its Metropolitan Opera know big. This looks very big indeed, big big. It is the Robert Lepage / Ex Machina new Met Ring Cycle , the full Cycle scheduled for the northern spring 2012 (after Rheingold in September this year, Walkure in April 2011, Siegfried later in 2011, and Gotterdammerung early 2012).

Hang onto your seats.

(UPDATE - The youtube upload of the Met new Ring trailer has been deleted, obviously it's more than a case of any publicity is good publicity. To see it, the trailer, look here in the section detailing Das Rheingold)

It looks absolutely thrilling and while 'circus' did pop into my mind, 'Goldman Sachs' didn't. And describing as a "faithful representation of Wagner's great operatic myth" in the $ this way to the front of the big queue $ didn't help. I'm frustrated by approaches which continue to position the greatest moral work of the theatre entirely in a world of fantasy, past or future, and sidestep the direct challenge and confrontation of 'this up here is all about us, and you sitting there, you're us'.

Leplage is only a little more reassuring: "“The Ring is about change,” director Lepage says. “I try to be extremely respectful of Wagner’s storytelling, but in a very modern context. We’re trying to see how in our day and age we can tell this classical story in the most complete way.”" I, you need to understand, worship at the altar of the anti-capitalist Patrice Chereau Ring.

I've been lucky enough to have heard a few of the cast in Aix - Dalayman's Brunnhilde; Heppner's Siegfried (totally wonderful tear jerking stuff, but in a theatre at least a third the size) and Eva-Maria Westbroek's Sieglinde. Here's some intersting casting - the hot tenor with a touch of dark - Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund. And the cover is? Stuart Skelton. I'm trying not to have bad thoughts.

Mr Skelton is also singing Parsifal at ENO next March/April, c Wigglesworth. That I would dearly love to be at. Parsifal is a box still being opened for me, and these two may just have the key.


Anonymous said...

I'm contemplating a smaller ring - at Shanghai this September, borrowed from Cologne - Markus Stenz conducts the Gurzenich orchestra. Should be a bit cheaper if also more modest (if a Ring can be modest). Mind you I haven't got any response out of the promoters yet on my ticketing inquiry.

wanderer said...

It reads quite well doesn't it, the concept suits my leanings, and category A works out at about $250 per performance, not bad. And it looks like the schedule is each cycle on sequential days, which surely means rotating casts. Have you any more information? Would welcome any news if and when.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get the impression the casts were rotating.

There is a not entirely promising picture of one box office apparently selling tickets here:


However, they are only advertising single tickets at slightly less attractive rates than Wu promotions.

[pseudo-Wagnerian word verification is "nothrul"]

Anonymous said...

PS, cast (note: even some doubling) announced is:

Brünnhilde Catherine Foster | Sieglinde Astrid Weber Fricka/Waltraute Dalia Schaechter
Erda Hilke Andersen
Wotan/Der Wanderer Greer Grimsley Siegfried Stig Andersen
Siegmund Lance Ryan
Loge Carsten Süß | Fasolt/Hunding/Hagen Kurt Rydl
Alberich Oliver Zwarg
Mime Martin Koch
Donner/Gunther Samuel Youn

wanderer said...

Yes, I saw the casting. But are we to believe the one Wotan/Wanderer is to sing 3 nights in a row, Brunnhilde 3 nights in a row, Siegfried 2 nights in a row?

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's worrying, isn't it? Perhaps there will be indispositions and and maybe even a Chinese standby cast!

wanderer said...

I like a bit of maybe, especialy and and maybe. I'm wondering if an email to Dr Gaida, Munster/German Wagner Society, as on bottom of Wu promotion page, may be a way in.

wanderer said...

M I've made some enquiries, talked to the gum tree, consulted the oracle, and decided to source tickets for round 1.

I avoided Wu promotions. The Shanghai Booking Agent directed me to the (Shanghai Grand) theatre, where 'Charlie', of the female kind, has been very helpful, so far at least.

I have the number and email if you would like.

Anonymous said...

I would like and have sent you an email soliciting further details.