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<<  -- 2 --  Robert Anderson    THE RING IN CHEMNITZ


The Chemnitz opera has no mystical abyss such as Bayreuth's, and space precluded Wagner's imperious demand for six harps in the pit. But the clarity of sound in the theatre is exemplary, and in the hands of a sensitive conductor, balance can be admirably managed. A neighbour in the auditorium said this was the most rewarding Ring he had seen for fifty years, thus taking us back to Wieland Wagner. What he deplored were recent productions that have been fascinated by anything but Wagner, submerging the work in irrelevant politics, perversity and pseudo-psychology. Here was a Rheingold of which the opening swirled with mysterious waters. If the Rhine seemed to heave with a more than Atlantic swell, there was magic as lighting gradually suffused the river with the golden glow that tempted a sneezing Alberich to his catastrophic theft. Valhalla was buttressed in sombre grey, and the giants, no larger than I am, demonstrated their trade by swinging onto the stage in the sort of mechanical grabs that could not possibly have been used in the building of a primeval Valhalla. The gods sickened dramatically for want of Freia's golden apples, a sample of which was flourished temptingly by Loge.

Donna Morein as Fricka (left), Hans-Peter Scheidegger as Wotan and Piotr Bednarski as Loge in the Oper Chemnitz 2001 production of 'Das Rheingold'. Photo (c) Dieter Wuschanski


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Copyright © 5 May 2001 Robert Anderson, London, UK





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