19 September 2010

New Metropolitan Ring: Das Rheingold Premieres 27 September

James Levine and director Robert Lepage join forces to create what The Metropolitan Opera describes as a "groundbreaking new Ring". Das Rheingold will premiere on Monday 27 September.

Robert Lepage brings cutting-edge technology to the new Ring, using spectacular optical effects. Time will show if the effects enhance the experience or lives its own life and distracts the public, like the circus Ring in Valencia.

Bryn Terfel is singing his first Wotan at the Met. He is leading a cast that includes Gerhard Siegel as Mime and Hans-Peter König (both well known from Bayreuth).

Levine, who has conducted every complete Ring cycle performed by the Met since 1989, has been sidelined in recent years due to health problems. The lates reports says thet he is fit for fight now. According to Levine, “The Ring  is one of those works of art that you think you know, but every time you return to it, you find all kinds of brilliant moments that hadn’t struck you with the same force before.”

According to the director Robert Lepage, “The Ring is about change. 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.”

Conductor:  James Levine
Freia: Wendy Bryn Harmer
Fricka: Stephanie Blythe
Erda: Patricia Bardon
Loge: Richard Croft
Mime: Gerhard Siegel
Wotan: Bryn Terfel
Alberich: Eric Owens
Fasolt: Franz-Josef Selig
Fafner: Hans-Peter König


Anonymous said...


"Time will show if the effects enhance the experience..."

This is not to minimize the stage/drama aspect, but nothing is as enjoyable as listening to an audio recording of 'Das Rheingold'.

No opera has ever remained in the repertory because it has a great libretto or staging. It remains because the music (the vocal and orchestral sounds) is great.

kitty said...

Exactly. The music comes first. Why spent that my money on a new production when the old production was always sold out anyway? Yes, it was old and falling apart, how much money would it have taken to just restore it? Probably a fraction of the cost of the new production that may or may not be liked. Then hire the best singers who could sing the parts - it's singing that is the most important part here.

The old Ring production was always sold out. It was the only traditional production in the world, the only production to follow the composer's instructions, and that was its attraction. It didn't distract from the music but enhanced it. It was also what made it different from all the other Ring productions in the world. So now we have yet another modernist production at a huge expense at the time when Met is in debt.

What a brilliant business decision!

I think given past experience of Met new production, Las Vegas should have betting on which productions will be booed and which accepted.

kitty said...

nothing is as enjoyable as listening to an audio recording of 'Das Rheingold

Nothing? I'd say the sound of unamplified voices in an opera theater is a whole lot more enjoyable than an audio recording.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kitty,

Well, ok, but it also depends where one is sitting in the opera house.

The thing is that I get the most enjoyment when the music is moderately loud... Not very loud, just moderate enough.

Also, if I had my way, I'd get rid of the idiot early applauders, supertitles and all Eurotrash/modernist productions.