<< -- 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.
Copyright © 5 May 2001
Robert Anderson, London, UK
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