To the victors go the DVDs
Congratulations and thanks to all the many, many parterriani who participated in the second annual Bühnenweihfestspielkrieg, an event that La Cieca is overjoyed to note sparked the liveliest discussion of the sort she so avidly welcomes here on her little chat board. The winners of the competition are named after the jump.
The first prize, the newly-remastered complete DVD set of the Ring in the classic Kupfer/Barenboim production, goes to DharmaBray for Der Cockring des Nibelungen:
As a great work of art based on myth and with its own mythology I think that it’s time gay and lesbian liberation appropriates the Ring to project its own mythology onto it. In the absence of a 16 hour magnum opus within our own subcultures (pace Warhol, Proust et al) and the fact that in every Ring audience there’s got to be a sizable gay and lesbian contingent, here is my GLBTI Ring (inspired by Kasper Holten’s Copenhagen Ring.) Anyone care to stage it?
Das Rheingold (our gods of high art): Alberich (Albert Speer) steals the golden dildo from Rhine maidens Marlene Dietrich, Louise Brooks and Greta Garbo. Wotan (Oscar Wilde) has commissioned the legendary Berlin club El Dorado to be built where he can take his trade home after battle. Fricka (Virginia Woolf) is not impressed, even less so when her sister Freia (Radclyffe Hall) is promised as payment. Froh and Donner (Britten and Auden) hang about to help out the cause, and everyone agrees its wholly wholly appropriate that Loge (Isherwood ) leads Wotan to the Reichstag and back. Fasolt and Fafner (Philip Johnson and Charles Moore) fight it out. Erda (Madame Blavatsky) provides the necessary warnings showing Wotan pics to remind him of Reading Gaol. The gods enter El Dorado to have a great night out.
Die Walkuere (of the golden age of Movies) : Twins Sieglinde (Elizabeth Taylor) and Siegmund (Jimmy Dean) meet in Hunding’s (Rock Hudson’s) house. Wotan (now George Cukor) spurs Brunnhilde (err Doris Day as Calamity Jane) to save the twins, until Fricka (Bette Davis) interrupts one of his legendary sunday afternoon parties and makes him decide otherwise. Siegmund and Hunding play chicken in fast sports cars and Siegmund loses. The Valkyries (Russ Meyer pussycats) ride in with Korean veterans on pillion to take them to El Dorado. George chases Doris down to a sound stage, Liz flees pregnant, and instead of magic fire, Cukor makes Doris drop acid and she falls into a very deep trip. No fire, just magic LSD imagery and a dance sequence choreographed by Hermes Pan.
SIegfried (of the golden age of Musicals): Siegfried (a Tom of Finland clone) has been brought up by Mime (Sondheim) and is visited by the Wanderer (Bernstein). They both try and teach him show tunes. He forges the magic baton instead and goes off to Fafner’s salon (now Cole Porter) and kills him. Alberich (Jerry Hermann) waits to grab the golden dildo which promises a hit song to anyone who owns it. Siegfried drinks Coles champagne and understands the hithero unintelligible Woodbird (Carol Channing) who leads him to Brunnhilde. Bernstein questions Chita Rivera for more information on the future of musicals but she predicts doom and gloom. When Siegfried wakes Brunnhilde she is Liza Minnelli.
Goetterdaemmerung (of the advent of disco): the first girl super group called Martha and the Vandellas do the spinning wheel. Tom and Liza swear eternal love. Tom heads down the river and ends up at The Factory. Truman Capote welcomes him and introduces him to Andy Warhol and his sister Candy Darling who Truman thinks would make a great wife for Tom. Meanwhile Liza is visited by her sister Lorna who warns of dire consequences. Tom, after dropping some acid, agrees with Truman’s proposition and promises to seduce Liza for Andy. In a time bending stroke of foresight, Tom disguises himself as Peter Allen to do the deed.
Truman keeps watch and is visited by Mick Jagger in search of the golden dildo which promises him access to soul. Andy returns with Liza who recognizes Tom and accuses him of betrayal. All hell breaks loose with a shrieking chorus of drag queens. Truman, Andy and Liza plot to kill Tom when they go clubbing the next night.
At the club, Tom is bewitched by a group called the Supremes and drinks too much as he listens to their set. Truman buys him a strong coffee which wakes him from his alcoholic haze and he remembers Liza. Too late, he is sick, chokes on his vomit and dies. No one actually notices as Liza takes to the stage that moment to announce the death of her mother, Judy Garland. Everyone is distraught and as Liza sings the mother of all torch songs (ahem) police raid the venue, and a cataclysmic riot breaks out in the bar they’re in called Stonewall.
The runner-up, soon the proud owner of “The Golden Ring,” the DVD documentary about the recording of the Solti Ring, is iltenoredigrazia for Der Kink des Nibelungen:
Overall idea is that lust, depravity, base passions are the reasons for the world’s collapse. (Nothing much new here; these all go together with power, avarice, abuse, etc.)
We already that know Wotan is a philanderer. He’s also into child slavery / prostitution, e.g., he sold out Freia to the Giants. Fricka is the one who knows him well and keeps an eye on him. I’d have him droolling over Brunhilde.
Brunnhilde is a Lolita type who knows the power she has over Wotan. She teases him. Note how she sensually caresses his spear while pleading for Siegmud. See Fricka in the corner watching them? See Wotan checking to see if Fricka is still there? And yes, Fricka sticks around to see that there’s no hanky-panky and that Wotan does punish Siegmund. She may even pull Wotan’s spear back.
The Walkueres are a bunch of gypsy-like hussies who scavenge the battlefields and empty the pockets of the dead heroes before carrying the bodies away.
Walhalla is to be a pleasure palace. Note the cigarette girls and hunky numbers coming out to lead the gods into their new Playboy mansion. Yes, the other Gods have been drinking and playing cards and dice and touching each other while waiting.
The Nibelungs run an underground casino/house of prostitution where they pile up gold upon gold.
Mime is a child molester. Siegfried’s forging of Notung signifies his becoming a man. Brunnhilde essentially rapes him the moment she wakes up. A pair of sex maniacs. (See the Forest Bird fly away scandalized by this display of public sex.)
The potion is just an excuse as in T&I. Gutrune is the second woman Siegfried ever sees and he realizes immediately that he acted rashly marrying Brunnhilde. He likes Gutrune better and will pretend not knowing Brunnhilde. A case of I must have been drunk and don’t remember anything. But his hormones are flowing. See how he flirts with the Rhinemaidens. If he had not been killed, he would soon have left Gutrune and gone for a menage-a-quatre with the girls.
The Gibichunds, of course, are an incestual mfm trio. Yes, Hagen is the top man there.
The Norns are having a big trip that ends when their supply of weed stops.
The emotional collapse, of course, is when Wotan’s spear breaks. He’s now impotent. (No Viagra in that world.) Siegfried is the one man now with a working weapon. See how he shows Wotan his shiny new sword.
Incidentally, Sieglinde had sexual designs on Siegmund from the very first moment. See how she looks at him. How she checks his crotch. (They are all sex maniacs in this Ring.)
The Rhinemaidens, of course, are pre-pubescent girls experimenting with each other. Alberich is a peeping Tom.
All this can happen on any sets you want or have available. It’s the acting/staging that will depict what’s going on. Could easily be done on Wieland’s 1950?s sets or on Richard’s original XIX Century sets.