Sunday, November 24, 2013


Don't read on if you are going to Siegfried.

There's a lot going on down here and our stay is rushing to an end. Melbourne is in full flight with the Ring creating quite a buzz and the mammoth Melbourne Now exhibition just opened.

Here they are cleaning up in the morning after a night installation on the side wall of the National Gallery of Victoria, the wall facing the entrance to the State Theatre where the Ring is on.

Today is Sunday and this morning in the State Theatre we went to a wonderfully relaxed chat between OA Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini, Stuart Siegmund Skelton, experienced Wagner Man of the World, and the Wotan cover Shane Lowrencev, young father of four carving his way into the big baritone rep. He tears up at the beauty and awe of what this music tells him, and apologised for getting emotional just talking about it. That made me feel a bit better.

On the morning of performances, Prof Heath Lees (university professor, writer, broadcaster, musicologist, founder of the Wagner Society of New Zealand) gives a pre-performance talk in the Melbourne Recital Centre. With a Steinway, slides, videos, lilting Scottish accent, sparkling eyes and wonderful wit ('the thing about German jokes is that they are no laughing matter'), he presents the best ever over and under view of this never-endingly complex masterwork.

Prof Lees has just released a DVD series which is the basis for these talks. Details and teaser clips are here. Bought.

It is two days now since Siegfried. Is it the hardest to stage? Who knows, but nothing I have seen before is a patch on what Neil Armfiled gives us in this stunning subversive theatre of the mind which dinners, lunches, walks, shopping, sleeps, drinks, and the whirl have kept me from getting fully blogged.

So speaking of teasers, imagine that everyone is/could be a dragon, if not by choice then by infliction, or by projection. Imagine every dragon is a dragon only in the eyes which behold it.

There was a marvellous show on TV (or maybe a DVD we have, I can't remember) recently about the life of the Buddha. The point it was making was that the Buddha is in everyone, waiting only to be found. When walking the streets, look at every person and ask yourself - Buddha? Buddha?

So Fafner is a Giant is a Player on the world stage. Slay a dragon, and you slay ... the human truth that it is.


Anonymous said...

Since I'm not going, I read it without qualms, but I'm not going to Die G either, so how about it?

Wouldn't mind a wrap-up of the whole, either.

wanderer said...

Thanks for the interest M, and as soon as the (metaphorical) bags are unpacked, I will be getting it together.

Susan Scheid said...

I, too, look forward to the rest of your report and hope you'll let us know, too, what you think of the Lees DVDs.

wanderer said...

Sue, catching up at last - it will be a while before I watch the DVDs, but the link above takes you to some excerpts which suggest they are similar / identical to his talks but perhaps lacking the spontaneity, sparkle and wit, but that is superficial to the main content which was terrific.

Susan Scheid said...

Thanks. I overlooked that link. I've marked the set for a future round of purchasing (have exhausted my current purchasing allowance, alas). Really looking forward to David's BBC Radio 3 Building A Library recommendations on Parsifal 12/14, too.