The gods get their kicks on Route 66.
If Frank Castorf‘s work on Der Ring des Nibelungen at Bayreuth accomplishes nothing else, it should serve as a sort of loud disorganized reminder of the dangers of indulging in the intentional fallacy.
All right, I admit it; I finally broke down and read the program notes for the Ring in the Bayreuth program book.
I’m told that the public were, if hardly enthusiastic, at least ambivalent toward the Frank Castorf Ring up until the first performance of Siegfried, at which point things got really ugly and the booing started in earnest.
First things first: working from the limited evidence of half or less than half of Frank Castorf’s production of the Ring, I don’t see any evidence of contempt for the audience or whatever you want to call it.
There are some productions that “introduce” themselves quite clearly early on: for example, the Patrice Chereau Ring puts it cards on the table very frankly with the image of the hydroelectric dam populated by grisette Rhinedaughters.