Monday, January 22, 2007

By way of response.

Full disclosure: I am now a contributor to The Contrapuntal, so it might strike you as silly why I would post a response to a post on another blog, to which I now contribute. However, a careful reading of the two entities would show that there is some ground for give-and-take between ethereal spaces.

First: Terry needs to normalize his German idiom. Most nouns are capitalized, proper and abstract alike. Konzept will be capitalized in most cases, if not all. So will Rheingold. I am no great shakes at German philology, but I do know that much.

Second: Terry writes,

Where the real problem lies, I believe, is with Zambello's attempt to add cohesion to her pot-luck dinner Konzept, and with the price of talent. In turns [terms?] of Konzept, where do you go after Das Rheingold? Any speculation here would be fruitless until we see Die Walküre, which should answer several questions concerning her plot trajectory. However, I have a feeling that the [K]onzept will move from our "pre-historic" past into the present day, to demonstrate how the origninal Capitalistic sin of the Gods has totally corrupted our current situation. That's right, Zambello's Ring, I feel, will undoubtedly comment upon our present-day affairs. This type of political/social commentary upon current events (especially in this environment, with these people) might scare off donors and underwriters.

I think that Terry needs to explore the reaction to the first run of the Chéreau cycle in 1976. Half the band refused to appear with Pierre Boulez for the curtain. The booing was fierce, even by Bayreuth standards. Frau Wagner, daughter-in-law of the Master, threatened to kill Patrice Chéreau - not surprising given her rancid past, but wealthy socialites generally don't do such things. The Bayreuth set, and I can't find the article at the moment, gave their tickets away en masse. Now, by 1980 or so, things had turned; however, in the heat of the moment, there was no great love for the new staging. Why?

The people who go to Bayreuth care deeply about such things. Angela Merkel, as has been reported, gave an interview with the FAZ about Parsifal. With all due respect, could George W. Bush contrast the Lehnhoff and Schlingensief productions of the music-drama? Could he tell you the first thing about Wagner? Boulez? Bayreuth? Doubt it. Doubt it a lot. Chéreau's staging was controversial for the same reason that Zambello's version will never be: the audience doesn't begin to get the Konzept, much less know enough to be unhappy with it. This won't scare off donors.

They couldn't begin to get scared.


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