17 April 2003 | vox-sane
Challenging but Wonderful Ring Cycle
Superb, if controversial, reimagining of the Ring Cycle at the centennial of Beyreuth. Minimal staging and modern dress (well, more eighteenth century fripperies, especially for the gods) put Wagner's music foremost.
Performed "live" at Wagner's own theatre, apparently without an audience, since there is no annoying applause or coughing at any point. Anyone who expects Alberich to look like a dwarf, rather than a tramp who blunders upon the gold, will possibly raise an eyebrow. But anyone who remains open to accept the presentation for what it is, rather than shrugging it off as soap operaish (after all, isn't that what it is?) will delight in the fresh approach and the challenging staging. Though a quarter-century old at this writing, it's still imaginatively fresh. The only quibble is the quibble with every presentation of the story: Seigfreid is an idiot. But the romance between Sieglinde and Siegmund is especially hot! The only caveat is that is shouldn't be one's first Ring Cycle. A must for Wagner completists and anyone who loves Wagner's music and story.