Saturday, January 20, 2007

The World['s] End?

So, it is no great secret among the East Coast opera fans that the third installment of Zambello's Ring, Siegfried, wasn't programmed at the Washington National Opera.

All I can say is, but of course not. Zambello's Konzept was the Chéreau design from Bayreuth, 1976. Thirty years ago, going on thirty-one, if you want to get technical. Some of the specifics have changed, but the overall Marxist thrust hasn't. In the age of Schlingensief, Chéreau and his ideological children are hopelessly conservative. Even Harry Kupfer, the prince of DDR postmodern austerity, looks a little silly compared to the perverse phantasmagorias staged by Herr Schlingensief.

To my mind, and remember that I didn't make the pilgrimage to Our Nation's Capital, Zambello wasn't saying anything new. Perhaps she was offering a new twist on an old idea, like adding lime to a Cape Codder.*

But no one drinks a Cape Codder for the lime. In my opinion, Zambello's cycle was put on hiatus because, well, it wasn't that interesting or even novel.

*A note on this recipe: If you're using vodka even remotely good, stir gently. You don't want to aerate and bruise the vodka. Of course, if it's good vodka, you shouldn't mix it at all, preferring to sip it on the rocks.


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