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Get your kicks on Route Sechsundsechzig

Revealed: first images of Frank Castorf‘s production of the Ring, launching Friday at Bayreuth. [Abendzeitung München]

  • La Valkyrietta

    This seems definitely a much more exciting Ring in spite of a weak Siegmund.

  • Signor Bruschino

    Speaking of Bayreuth, is Der Fliegende Hollander that opera being taped this year (last year being Parsifal (and where is the DVD)) with the year prior being Die Walkure…

    • marknsa

      It was shown in movie theaters in Austria. I wish they would also show the Ring.

      • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

        marknsa, had you gone to the Bayreuth Web site (which is available in both German and English, although the English content is radically reduced) anytime since 06 July, you could have read that tonight’s “Holläneder” was shown in cinemas throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and (to the best of my knowledge) for the first time in Denmark (two cities), Ireland (three cities) and the UK (one city). You may want to bookmark

        but don’t rely on the English content. I just checked and the press release about the cinema broadcasts (“Wagner live im Kino!”) is only on the German homepage.

        I also think that, since Siemens pulled out as a sponsor plus the government cutbacks, they don’t have the budget to broadcast more than one opera per season. Perhaps we will get the “Ring” in pieces, but that may not provide consistent casting.

        “Lohengrin” has already been done; hopefully tonight’s “Holländer” will be released, so that leaves a “Tannhäuser” from which the house apparently wants to distance itself, so that means a telecast next year would in all likelihood be a “Ring” opera. Even there, you have a slight problem in that the “Walküre” that came out was from the wretched Tankred Dorst production, and now it’s a whole mew show, so they’d have to do another “Walküre.” Yikes! This gets complicated…

        I can tell you that it is house policy to maintain the same operas in repertoire the year after a new “Ring,” so 2014 will offer the same operas. The next new production will be Katharina Wagner’s “Tristan” in 2015 (which I canÄt wait for! I loved her “Meistersionmger” andf “ÖLohengri” in Budapest!).

        • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

          I also forgot how to type in my last sentence!

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      Unfortunately, I don’t think Stefan Herheim’s glorious “Parsifal” will make it to DVD. Have you seen the film as broadcast on Arte? They try all kinds of camera angles which don’t particularly serve the production, especially when the globe at the end turns into a giant mirror and reflects the audience and the houselights come up a bit. On the film, the mirror reflects the orchestra pit (!) and instead of our attention being turned to Gurnemanz, Kundry, and the child Parsifal, not to mention the dove at the top of the stage, the picture is dominated by Philippe Jordan in a white shirt gesturing madly to the orchestra. I would LOVE to have a good DVD copy (there was also a lot of audio drop-out in Act I, but that could possible be just Arte), but I doubt if it will happen. But that’s just my opinion, based on the quality of the other recent Bayreuth DVDs. By the way, I so loved Herheim’s “Parsifal” that I saw it every year for the five years it was shown. And now it’s done, and we are stuck with the ludicrous Sebastian Baumgarten “Tannhäuser” for the next few seasons (although it is so widely hated, 2014 may be its last year).

  • zinka

    Our beloved Cieca must be envied for the upcoming Bayreuth week he will experience; The Ring, Lohengrin and Flying Dutchman..I only hope the weather is not any way as bad as it has been in NY because there ain’t no AC..and you sit on benches and you cannot BREATHE…..well,look, they almost vun die var…..

    Bless him..He will have a lot to report…

    • marshiemarkII

      Zinka! what a beautiful post! love the video :-) :-) :-)
      and of course Godspeed to carisssima La also as she ascends to the trono aurato della collina verde

      • zinka

        Many thanks..On occasion I do wax poetic…plus my kitchen floor.

        La Cieca has made my life more treasurable than I can describe in words…..He has influenced me almost as much as Ethel Merman.

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    I must now sign off for about a week as I am leaving in 11 hours for Bregenz (and still must pack and sleep). I was hoping to catch Cocky Kurwenal online, as I now have the Gwyneth Jones “Madama Butterfly” which he asked me to post at my Mixcloud site several weeks ago. If anyone who knows us both – camille? damekenneth? marshiemarkII? Feldmarschallin? kashania (pdp)? – sees him online in the next few days, please tell him I have it, and that I will post it toward the end of next week.

    Meanwhile, enjoy the Simon Rattle Aix/Salzburg “Ring,” which has quickly received feedback of the highest order:


    • marshiemarkII

      Godspeed carisssima Jungfer. I hope you enjoy yourself “fiercely”, especially while on the green hill, listening to the master!
      Big hug

  • sukamo

    The Rhine Maidens and Alberich survive.

    Here a Link to an Spiegel article on the New Ring in Bayreuth:

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Castorf: “What happened on that stage [in Bayreuth] was Ingolstadt local theater. And that’s being generous.”

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a director making such negative comments in public about a dress rehearsal. The should have substituted Lanford for Ingolstadt!

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        Der Spiegel: “Some members of the press have even been denied admission to the premier. : I hope JJ is not going to be turned away.

        • Hippolyte

          Unlikely since he’s attending the third cycle.

    • manou

      I wonder what the original German is for “narrow nostrils” in the Spiegel article.

  • oedipe

    Sorry people, but a Ring production where the Nibelheim grotto is a Mount Rushmore look-alike with the heads of Marx/Engels/Lenin/Stalin, and where the Valhalla is a copy of the NY Stock Exchange, can’t possibly be all bad! Just by virtue of these two images I am already a potential fan.

    • oedipe

      Oops, mea culpa, Mao rather than Engels. Much more relevant!

      • antikitschychick

        well, lumping together Marx with those other three figures doesn’t exactly thrill me but I shall try to keep an open mind about this production as the rest of it looks interesting.

        Are these performances being filmed?

  • phoenix

    Enjoy your stay …

  • mercadante

    I think its very difficult and unfair to judge a production that was thrown together so fast, especially one so complicated as a new RING. Working under such strict deadlines has to be artistically confining.

  • oedipe
  • phoenix

    A D V E R T I S E M E N T
    Newly renovated since 9/11, be sure to take advantage of our Eid al-Fitr / Double Seventh Holiday Special during the week of August 13 -- includes free tickets to a special presentation of the Ring in our Coffee Shop featuring renowned stars of entertainment Ruth Bader Ginsburg as Wotan & Anthony Weiner as Brünnhilde.

    • marshiemarkII

      Caro fenice, you are brilliant! where DID you find that! it’s fabulous!
      We DO need around more!!!!

      • phoenix

        Thanks mucho for the compliment but I have trouble finding anything, even my own wallet -- however, I have found lots of Golden Motels around -- in Nevada, Colorado, California -- but not in Texas.

      • marshiemarkII

        Just realized I had dropped a word, once again (seems to be my destiny :-( )
        I meant to say:
        We do need YOU around more!!!!

        You do indulge my camp sweet tooth a lot :-) :-) :-)

        • phoenix

          Ah marshie! If all you drop are words, YOU are very lucky!
          -- Today I inadvertently dropped my wallet on the locker room floor when I arrived before I had a chance to lock it up (in a hurry and late from wasting too much time putting up my silly Golden Motel comments above). I retrieved it at the end of the day from the management -- senza cash, of course -- but with everything else was intact. So I found no discount at these cursed Golden Motels, it cost me more than I expected! Mockery is very expensive these days, n’est ce pas?

        • marshiemarkII

          Sorry to hear about your wallet caro fenice. MMII dropped her wallet in Times Sq two summers ago, and will you believe it was returned! with all the cash inside???? Yep Times Sq!!!! sometimes miracles can happen. And since I didn’t have cash to go and retrieve it (no ATM card :-( ) they actually came all the way to 96th and Broadway to deliver it. They took all the cash AFTER I gave it to them, it was an amazing story!

          • bluecabochon

            My Dad left his wallet in a phone booth (remember them?) and it was found by New York Times reporter Gina Kolata, who called him right away. He had gone insane while retracing his steps and was in quite a state by the time he got home and found her message on his answering machine, as he always carried a lot of cash with him. Whenever I see her byline today, I always read her stories, which are science and medically oriented. Yay Gina!

            I lost my huge organizer (remember them?) twice in phone booths in the 1990s and both times it was found and returned to me. No one ever accepted any money for finding it, but the second time I brought flowers for the finder just to show my appreciation (I was going to her home to pick it up). There are good, honest people out there. :)

            On a trip to Atlantic City in the 1980s, I won a lot of money in quarters in a bucket at a slot machine but lost my wallet on the bus ride home. Karma, I guess. It was never found, and was a new bright magenta leather wallet, which my very young self was most upset about.

  • Feldmarschallin

    Well I missed the first hour but heard the rest of the Rheingold and thought it was fantastic. Alberich and Wotan impressed me and now they are talking on the radio with three leading critics including FAZ who all are raving about the production and are saying that Bayreuth has a big hit on their hands.

  • Walther von Holzhaufen

    I heard almost the entire broadcast. I was very impressed by the quality of the orchestral playing and the conducting, but found Wolfgang Koch as Wotan less impressive. He’s an accomplished singer, but I prefer a more commanding, even heroic sound for Wotan. Seeing the performance on stage could have created a very different impression.

    • Feldmarschallin

      Petrenko was amazing and I am very happy to be able to replace Nagano with him. I just heard the whole Ring with Nagano and found him lacking. Too loud and too slow in a nutshell. There was so much more subtle playing with Petrenko. He never covered the singers like Nagano did nor did he drag. Granted he wasn’t fast but the tempi always seemed right. Like I said I only heard the last 90minutes.

  • ding ding

    I got to see the Walkure on its first night.
    The concept for the whole Ring is around oil production. I didn’t see Rheingold but the Walkure is set in Baku on a detailed wooden set which turns on a revolve and which wouldn’t look out of place in Act 3 of Fanciulla.
    Castdorf uses video cameramen to bring us the action, when it moves inside the set, on a screen eg Siegmund’s death.
    Act 1 was fabulous with all three singers, Kampe, Botha and Selig on top form. Kampe had sung in a concert performance at the Proms in London under Barenboim a few days earlier when she was terrific but was even better here in a staging. Any director clearly has to work around his cast and with Botha because of his size there’s little physicality but he sang fabulously with a ringing full tone, exciting and virile, much preferable to Simon O’ Neill at Covent Garden and the Prom.
    Wolfgang Koch won’t be everyone’s ideal Wotan, he doesn’t have the volume of Terfel but I liked him. He acts well you can hear every word and there’s a variety of colour in the voice. He’s totally believable without resorting to stock in trade panto poses. At the curtains at the end of Act two he nobly came in front of the curtain to rescue the English soprano Catherine Foster from the boos she was getting from a handful of the audience. She was singing very softly in the encounter with Siegmund, rather beautifully as it happened. In Act 3 her full confident tone, precision and acting ensured her an ovation at the end -- no boos here.
    I’d only heard Kirill Petrenko once before in the opera house conducting a double bill of Erwartung and Bluebeard at Covent Garden several years ago. I was impressed then and again here. Fabulous playing in one of the best acoustics anywhere.