Monday, July 31, 2006

Live from Bayreuth

Why on earth would anyone go to Bayreuth in late July? I've been to Bavaria in the summer, and sweltering is about the only way to describe the temperature. Put me in a dark suit and in a crowded, un-air-conditioned hall, and I fear that I'd pass out quickly. That's no way to experience Siegfried: collapsed all over some wealthy Bavarian matron.

However, like any self-respecting Wagnerian, if you offered me tickets, I'd be all over them.

Anthony Tommasini, refraining from using the word "strapping," posts a journal from Bayreuth. Not bad, but not particularly great - when all is said and done. He completely ignores the mind-numbingly complex dynamic of the Festspiele's control, choosing to make asinine suggestions that neither the Friends of Bayreuth nor the Bavarian cultural authorities would be inclined to brook.

Also, he suggests that the 1976 Centennial production is the one on the Unitel/Philips DVD. It isn't. That production was universally critiqued, and - probably - should have been withdrawn. I believe that, after some re-casting and tweaking, the staging of 1980 is used. That was also recorded on CD - which I'd like to see reissued. Or something. It's been nearly a decade since there was a Ring of note released that was recorded at the same time.

Just, you know, for the record.

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