Thursday, January 05, 2006

Eine Amerikanisch Tragödie

A.C. Douglas has this post regarding the new National Opera Ring.

For a chap so set against the Regietheater productions of Kupfer and Chéreau, he seems oddly enthusiastic about this equally-strange idea. Now, understand that I am staunchly in support of the Chéreau staging, but I think Kupfer made some grave, grave errors in dramatic judgment. Thus, it should be clear(er) that I think the new production is essentially the same idea as that which Chéreau staged twenty years ago. "Let's take the Ring out of it's original context and put it into a new, but still plausible, context!"

There are as many parallels, especially in a Marxist context, between the world of the gods and the Industrial Revolution as there are between the same realm and Native American mythology. Now, I admit that there are some meta-myths involved (in fact, the multiplicity of the same story should prove Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces theory). However, the premise is daffy.

If Chéreau and Kupfer deserve to be tarred and feathered for their dramatic license with Wagner's fairly explicit directions, then this new Ring will be an equal failure. Also, the preliminary designs look stupid as all get out. 25 March (my birthday) was Holy Thursday last year. This year, Das Rheingold opens the same day. Can I not get a break?


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