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Further thoughts on Longborough's 'Ring'
and Sir Donald McIntyre as Wotan,


To witness Sir Donald McIntyre in action in Longborough's energetic Ring is just mesmerising. True, you sometimes couldn't always see it straight away (his costumes being just a bit, or in the case of Das Rheingold, far too, constraining) -- yet in rehearsal, every single joint of this lithe seventy-year-old looked astonishingly supple: knees and elbows, shoulders and torso, wrists and forearms, ankles to eyebrows. It was as if he'd been limbering up at the Valhalla gym for a whole fortnight beforehand (the extended rehearsal time amounted to that, and more). Thus even though McIntyre stiffened a little in actual performance, so that some of his swirls and twirls felt more stylised than the coiled yet relaxed naturalness of his rehearsing, he contrived to galvanise and electrify each time he pottered on -- even when Wotan slinks in from darkened wings like an expectant panther on his first entrance as The Wanderer in Siegfried.

Sir Donald McIntyre as Wotan. Photo © Stephen Wright
Sir Donald McIntyre as Wotan. Photo © Stephen Wright

McIntyre galvanised the cast too: everyone's performance was raised around him, although there were at least three outstanding performers who had set their own standards in previous appearances, and didn't need too much hoisting anyway ...

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Copyright © 15 August 2004 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry UK


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