Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Paris Ring - Countdown

The Paris Ring will officially start with the premiere of Das Rheingold on March 4, 2010. There will be 8 shows of the prologue-opera in March, followed by 9 shows of Die Walküre, which will open on May 30. The two remaining operas will be presented in 2011.

This better be a success because this season at the Paris Opera was quite bad so far -- with an exception of the wonderfully sung Werther. There were several excellent shows in Paris but they were all presented either at the Opéra Comique, or Châtelet or even at Théâtre des Champs Elysées, but not at the main Opera Houses (Bastille and Garnier). 

It is of course hard to predict anything about this Ring, but on the paper it looks very good to me: the cast is strong enough, the conductor is extremely good, Philippe Jordan, and hopefully the director Günter Krämer will come up with an interesting concept.

In a relatively long interview --published in the Paris Opera magazine "En Scène!"-- he [G. Krämer] gives a few hints...


  • This is the first time ever that Der Ring is staged at the Paris Opera, but to Günter Krämer it is the second time to produce it. His first attempt goes back to 1992 when he staged the Ring at the Hamburgische Staatsoper.  The reviews labeled that production as very minimalist. The Hamburg Opera replaced it very recently by the new production directed by Claus Guth.
  • His new production at the Paris Opera will be very different from his previous adventure; In his own words, it will be "a perpetual movement and multiplication of images" (sic!);  N.B that he keeps saying that he dislikes the use of video-images in Opera.
  • He sees Das Rheingold as an opera about the big industrial city where the giants and dwarfs are the working class, and the Gods are managing capital. Fricka is the one who  brings the capitalist concept into an otherwise apolitical world, the concept that Wotan tries to resist at first. Loge instead is a heartless cynic who only enjoys his role of observer/critics. His role will be particularly stressed in this Ring.
  • In Die Walkure he puts an emphasis on the collapse of a globalizing power, which results in a heavy fragmentation of the World. Each piece functions according to the rule "the other is an enemy", and they are all in wars against one another. In such a war-torn world in which there is no global power the killings cease to have consequences, and the life there is dominated by fear. The Gods are too weak to impose their supremacy any more. Kraemer says that the negative exaltation that Die Walkure built on such a decadent world makes this opera deep down  frightening. 
  • As a starting point for his staging concept he chose music rather than the Wagner's libretto, which he finds often clumsy and even ridiculous (e.g. Glitschieger Glimmer wie gleit ich aus by Alberich). His theatrical language will remain the communication through symbols although the spear and the sword will often be explicitly on stage. His Gold will be a crumbling ball.

Das Rheingold from Paris Opera will be broadcast live on the France Musique radio, on Saturday, March 13 at 7 pm (CET).

Two more Ring-news to share [from other sources ;) ]:
(1) The Bayrische Staatsoper in Munich was considering to engage Martin Kusej for their new Ring, but after long negotiations it will be Andreas Kriegenburg who will direct the Munich Ring --  Das Rheingold will premiere in 2012 
(2) Le Grand Théâtre de Genève also prepares the new production, which will also be premiered in 2012, but directed by Christof Loy


  1. The two titles are almost sold out...

    I missed the begining of the booking period and now there are few choices... :-/

  2. :-(

    You may try http://www.fnacspectacles.com/place-spectacle/manifestation/Opera-LA-WALKYRIE-WALKY.htm
    but the price gets steeper.

  3. Like Mei I missed the booking opening date. Thank you for the link to FNAC and they have some top price tickets for La walkyrie.

  4. Tough luck :/

    There is also this site [where I see still the available seats for Das Rheingold -- but in the upper range of prices > 150 € ]

    The same is true for Die Walkure too.