30 October 2008

The Wagner Journal November Issue

The Wagner JournalThe Wagner Journal is out with a new number. It is loaded with interesting articles, interviews and reviews.

The editor, Barry Millington, has two reviews from Bayreuth: Herheim's Parsifal and Katharina Wagner's Meistersinger. He also reviews Lohengrin (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Tannhäuser (Cologne) and the Konwitschny Dutchman (Munich).

Danish Wagner scholar Nila Parly reviews the Copenhagen Ring on DVD (readers who are not yet subscribers to The Wagner Journal can read the review on Wagneropera.net).

The number also has interviews with Peter Konwitschny and Katharina Wagner. And much more.

More info about the November issue is published on The Wagner Journal's Homepage

You can subscribe to The Wagner Journal's paper edition or get the numbers as PDFs.

The Wagner Journal Homepage

Nila Parly on the Bech Holten Ring

If you are interested in The Copenhagen Ring on DVD, you may want to read Nila Parly's review of the recently released DVD set on Decca. She examines the production from a feminist viewpoint, and sees the production in light of other so called Regietheater productions.

One of her basic ideas is that it actually is the female characters in Wagner who have the new and groundbreaking musical material, and that the women are far more in command of the development than a superficial view will show. Agree? Or do you see the female characters in Wagner as victims?

The review is printed in the November issue of The Wagner Journal.

Read Nila Parly's review here

Die Walküre Cancelled in Oslo

Another cancel for the Norwegian Opera. We are getting used to it now. This time they cancel the semi concertant Walküre in February 2009 borrowed from Gothenburg Opera. Replacement: Die Fledermaus. Exciting to see if any Norwegians notice the change. (Another thing is it that there was no information about the production being semi concertant when I ordered tickets... but the web site is not very good - to put it politely.)

We have a fantastic opera house here, but we have little to fill it with. Think about the Danish Royal Opera: their Copenhagen Ring is now discussed all over the world and available on DVD. Maybe I should move to Copenhagen. Their programme is much more interesting than ours. Wer weiss was ich tu...

29 October 2008


Well, and then I also have been tagged.

The rules:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog. I was tagged by Mostly Opera.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. If you don't have 7 blog friends, or if someone else already took dibs, then tag some unsuspecting strangers.

The 7 facts:

1. I once thought that the Internet was going to be short-lived.
2. The first time I saw the Cheréau Ring I was disgusted. Almost 30 years ago.
3. Smoking, parking in handicap spots or breast enlargement is not the way to win my heart.
4. The two greatest opera experiences of my life: Heiner Müller’s Tristan at Bayreuth in 1997 and Stefan Herheim’s Parsifal, also Bayreuth, in 2008.
5. One of my favourite films is David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers with Jeremy Irons.
6. I find golfing the best mental training.
7. When TV’s came with remote controls, I was convinced that it symbolized the downfall of Western culture.

I tag:

1 The Utah Symphony blog
2 The Guardian’s Music Blog
3 Arizona Opera Orchestra Musicians Association
4 Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra blog
5 Vincent's Wagner blog
6 BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
7 New York City Opera Blog

23 October 2008

Ring productions at Bayreuth

If you are interested in the Bayreuth Festival or productions of Der Ring des Nibelungen, you should buy Philippe Olivier's book Der Ring des Nibelungen in Bayreuth von den Anfängen bis heute.

The book covers all production at Bayreuth, from the first in 1876 to Tankred Dorst's running now. It is loaded with interesting photographs of productions, singers, rehearsals etc.

Unfortunately it is only available in German.

14 October 2008

Michael von zur Mühlen’s Holländer creates chaos

James Johnson, the wonderful Wotan in the recently released Copenhagen Ring, has refused to continue singing in the new Leipzig Holländer that premiered on Saturday. Johnson was not comfortable with director Michael von zur Mühlen’s concept, that included a stripper and several violent video sequences (that was introduced after the dress rehearsal, the opera house not being aware of it). The performance on Wednesday is cancelled, and the whole production may be withdrawn from the programme for good.

More on NMZ.de

05 October 2008

Metropolitan Ring is the best seller on Amazon.com

metropolitan ringAccording to the Amazon.com Sales Rank, the Metropolitan Ring with the team James Levine and Otto Schenk is the best selling Complete Ring set on DVD, followed rather unexpectedly by the Copenhagen Ring and not so unexpectedly by the Chereau Ring. That Amazon.com is selling more items of the Amsterdam Ring than the Bayreuth Ring with Barenboim and Kupfer is very surprising.

Metropolitan Ring: #15,341
Copenhagen Ring: #25,915
Chereau Ring: #32,918
Amsterdam Ring: #65,990
Barenboim/Kupfer: #66,702
Barcelona Ring: #102,149
Stuttgart Ring: #110,295

Which of these do you think belong in a Wagnerian's DVD library?