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Out of Touch

In a press release that was obviously sent in 1985 and for some bizarre reason only just arrived an hour ago, Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced the production of a new Ring cycle with Sir Andrew Davis conducting and David Pountney directing. Now, if you’ll excuse La Cieca, she will slip into her power suit and head down to Area to celebrate.

15 comments

  • DonCarloFanatic says:

    OMG. Total flashback to the dim past. Love the blow-dry pomp.

    Do tell more about this Ring’s perpetrators. Chicago would be a very nice place to revisit during a reasonably well-sung and produced Ring.

  • Clita del Toro says:

    On Friday, the company announced it will produce a new “Ring” cycle to be staged by the admired British director David Pountney and presented in installments over consecutive seasons. “Das Rheingold,” the prologue to the cycle, will open Lyric’s 2016-17 season, with “Die Walkure” following in 2017-18, “Siegfried” in 2018-19 and “Gotterdammerung” in 2019-20. The company will mount three complete cycles beginning in April 2020.

    Heading the casts will be two Americans, soprano Christine Goerke as the warrior-maiden Brunnhilde and bass-baritone Eric Owens in his role debut as the chief god Wotan. Other singers will be announced later.

    Also announced were the other members of Lyric’s “Ring” creative team. Music director Andrew Davis will conduct, and the designers will be Johan Engels (sets), Marie-Jeanne Lecca (costumes) and Fabrice Kebour (lighting).

  • dcrazmo says:

    Not to make an absurd comparison, but Verdi produced some pretty good work in later years. Maybe the old boys have some life in them yet.

  • operaassport says:

    Andrew Davis simply doesn’t know how to conduct Wagner. Why bother?

  • PokeyGascon says:

    “New York company’s chief, Peter Gelb, showered her with major new contracts, including for the first Met revival of the Lepage “Ring” in 2018-2019″.

    I missed this tidbit of news, I thought the Lepage ring was dead in the water.

  • TrevorNone says:

    As I love a good Ring Cycle, this is pleasing news indeed! However, I have to echo sentiments that were said here some months ago. (Perhaps pertaining to a discussion about Mme. Voigt?):

    I saw Goerke in Die Frau at the Met twice in November and was simply blown away. Both her characterization and her vocal quality were like nothing I had experienced in recent years, and I found it thrilling to say the least. So you can imagine my excitement at the thought of her tackling Brünnhilde. However -- and here’s where the echoing comes in -- I don’t want to have to wait until 2018 to hear her do a full Ring. And I definitely don’t want to have to wait until 2020! The voice is there now. She’s got a couple of Walküres in the pipeline already so I’m assuming that role is nearly prepared. I’m not saying it would be an easy undertaking, but I really don’t see why she couldn’t do a full Ring by 2016. I, and I’m sure many others, would pay top dollar to see it!

    God willing, Goerke’s voice will remain gorgeous and wobble free for many years to come, but one never knows. Singers work their tails (and occasionally, voices) off, and, in this rep in particular, are prone to crash and burn sooner than fans -- and general managers -- often anticipate. Again, I neither hope this will be the case for Ms. Goerke, nor am I predicting that it necessarily will be, but the years in advance casting system of opera has simply got to go. If not for the sake of the art form, then for the sake of the audiences. We deserve better. I remember when Deborah Voigt -- a singer whose voice I adored -- was initially contracted for the LePage Ring. Despite the fact that even then things seemed somewhat dicey, it was a mostly electrifying prospect! And yet, we all know how that turned out…

    Who knows -- come 2015 I may find myself trekking to Toronto to hear Christine ring in what one can only hope will be a tremendous and fresh-voiced Brunny. (Though as a side note, being a San Francisco native I’ve often been subjected to former Adler Fellow Heidi Melton’s horrific warblings in the past, so the fact that Damon Bristo has gone and gotten her cast as Sieglinde is incredibly off-putting to me.) Regardless, I shall continue to lament the fact that an Immolation scene seems farther off in Goerke’s future than I’d like.

    • phoenix says:

      Trevor -- I heard Goerke’s Brünnhilde in broadcast from Auckland Town Hall in 2012 (I think it is around -- you can inquire at House of Bobolink) and she was as great in NZ as she was at the Met in Frau ohne Schatten. But in the recent Elektra broadcast from Royal Opera Covent Garden her tremolo (I’m not saying wobble) became so annoying -- Pieczonka’s Chrysosthemis seemed to pick up on it, too and the final duet was truly a shake & bake. But I wouldn’t take it too seriously since both of these singers have a history of bouncing back to their prime after tired outings.
      - Heidi Melton? Never liked anything I heard her in -- she has a very youthful, bright tone that seems as if it might be suitable as Eva, but I doubt if she could hold the pitch or the line.

    • LittleMasterMiles says:

      Come spring 2015 you can also hear Goerke’s Brunnhilde in Houston’s Walküre, with the two final Ring operas in the following years. By the time the new Chicago Ring tickets are on sale the Goerke Valkyrie will be a known quantity.

    • Cocky Kurwenal says:

      TrevorNone, I had more or less the same thought when I heard Goerke had been cast in this, although I am no fan of hers and I’m afraid I take a more cynical point of view. I predict an increasing hardening of the timbre and a decrease in volume over the next 5 years. Nobody would be more pleased than me if I am proved wrong because I love a good dramatic soprano as much as anybody, but the way the voice is set up right now I just don’t think it’s going to be plain sailing for her and I think she’ll ultimately prove a frustrating singer.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Will Deborah Voigt be Erda?

  • willym says:

    Christine Goerke is scheduled for the COC Walküre in January-February 2015. She seems to be the go-to gal for the rule these days, at least certainly in North America.

  • Constantine A. Papas says:

    “Andrew Davis simply doesn’t know how to conduct Wagner.” Dogmatic absolutism without axiological reasoning is vacuous and self serving.