Saturday, July 14, 2012


It's underway. I should probably try and post on each part but that's really a recipe for 'the enemy of something is everything', or some such variation on that theme, so I'll at least try and document casts and dates, for the diary, some thoughts however superficial, and I've yet to see if I can rescue any of the curtain call photos. I hope there's some because they help me later recall some of the vibe.

So, it's Munich. It's sold out. It's controversial. It's in the National Theatre. And of course it's incredibly historic - for starters Das Rheingold (and Tristan, Meistersinger, Walküre) premiered here.

Two Wotans, Three Brunnhildes, Two Erdas, Two Siegfrieds, Two Mimes, Two Alberichs, Two Fafners, Four nights over Six days. Nothing is going to untangle all that, other than lengthy verbiage way beyond me, like a list:

Tuesday Das Rheingold - cast here.
Wednesday Die Walküre - cast here.
Friday Siegfried - cast here.
Sunday Götterdämmerung - cast here.

The other big names are
Production Andreas Kreigenburg
Conductor Kent Nagano (Bavarian State Orchestra)

And the sponsor BMW München
And the beneficent Count who is sitting discretely in the royal loge (two up on the left) my seat neighbour (and friend of said Count) tells me.

It's now Saturday, three down and tomorrow its The Last Night, and it's NINA STEMME. (Tonight is a concert night for our little gang). After some initial serious production reservations (if you ask a choreographer to produce something, expect choreography - remember Graham Murphy), some really slow music direction of oriental elegance and delicacy but really sagging in parts), some patchy vocals, things are now hot hot hot.

Some of the singing has been stupendous -

Wolfgang's Koch's magnificent Alberich;
Sophie Koch's devastating Walküre Fricka;
Anja Kampe's heart breakingly beautiful Sieglinde (I love love her voice) like Michelle Williams singing the Sieglinde of your dreams;
Klaus Florian Vogt's handsome slim Siegmund just a bit short on testosterone but who cares;
Iréne Theorin's ample piercing Walküre;
Thomas J Mayer's steady as she goes Ws;
Lance Ryan's handsome if not to my taste tone but god he did it Siegfried;
Catherine Naglestad's unbelievably sensual pulsing vibrating sexually alive huge voiced on my god can you believe it awakening Brünnhilde;
and the most brilliant dazzling not pinched white toned but rich and flexible and the best since Joan surely except delicious tiny pretty in a bone white lace dress all legs and arms and smile and here there and everywhere delicate dancing and fluttering with feathery lace hand fan-wings I thought she was in the ballet I would have paid for just her Stimme eines Waldvogels - Elena Tsallagova.

Lots of boos (production - more later) huge ovations (noone stands here, well not till the house lights start to dim - the seats are wicked hard and the civility of letting neighbours pass in the rows is wonderful)

Lots lots more .....

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