Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Ring of planks

Writing in The New Yorker (sorry: I don't know how to link to its stories, if that's even possible), Alex Ross delivers his verdict on "The Ring" cycle at the Met: "Pound for pound, ton for ton, it is the most witless and wasteful production in modern operatic history." Amen.

Here is my experience with the Gelb/Lepage production, seen at the Regal multiplex in the neighboring city: I rather enjoyed Rheingold, though Sally Wife did not. (Her main objection was Bryn Terfel's greasy hair, which served in lieu of Wotan's traditional eye patch.) I endured Walkure. I walked out of Siegfried after the first act. And I skipped Gotterdamerung, figuring that there were better things to do with a Saturday afternoon than spend four hours watching those stupid planks move up and down.

The Met would do well to retire this abomination after the first cycle of Cycles this spring, and to bring back the glorious old Otto Schenk production. And if that's not possible, then the gutsy and delightful "Kirov Ring" that Maestro Gergiev brought to Manhattan in the summer of 2007. That was an experience I doubt I will ever top. (Was it really five years ago? My goodness.) Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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