Even though I don't have much esteem for the French critics [not that anyone cares - I know! ;)], I was very glad to learn that they voted the David McVicar's Götterdämmerung, conducted by the incredible Marko Letonja at ONR-Strasbourg, the best opera production presented in France in 2010-2011.
The Prix de l’Europe francophone went to Romeo Castellucci's Parsifal, conducted by one of the greatest Wagnerites today, Hartmut Haenchen, at La Monnaie/De Munt in Brussels.
Congratulations to them, to their production teams, and to all the musicians involved in both shows!
Yours Truly saw the premiere of that memorable Götterdämmerung and blogged about it. I also saw Parsifal in Brussels, a production that is definitely in its own league -- hard to compare with anything else you can see these days in the Opera Houses worldwide.
It is really unfortunate that the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg did not plan to release a DVD with the McVicar's Ring. I have no doubt this would have been the best classical production of the Ring so far. It is classical in the basic approach only, but with a fascinating modernity when it comes to organizing the stage action, directing the singers/actors and extras, carefully choosing the costumes, the stage design and the lights.
This may in fact be a good suggestion to Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier, to share McVicar's production with ONR-Strasbourg, and present it as their Bicentenary Ring in Bayreuth 2013.
McVicar is now in Aix en Provence where he's preparing La Clemenza di Tito -- premiere next Thursday.
Castellucci instead is preparing for the Theater Festival in Avignon, where he will present Sul concetto di volto nel Figlio di Dio [in Paris next October] During the festival there will be two cinema projections (July 22 at 2 and 8 pm) of his astounding Parsifal, filmed in January this year at La Monnaie in Brussels.