Saturday, April 9, 2011

Where do I beginnn... Ring?!

Yeah the title sounds like Shirley Bassey, but it's nothing like that.

Hermann, v.Peter, Kratzer, Bosse, Herheim, Kusej, Bieito, Breth

It's just that I took some time off from blogging and am now trying to get back ball rolling.  In spite of this break I did see quite a number of shows and some were really great, helping my healing process of disappointed opera aficionado.
The lesson I've learned from this is that (1) I am an atypical opera fan, and (2) I have to be more careful and avoid the garbage productions often presented at the Paris Opera. Don't get me wrong! You can find excellent shows in Paris, but the really bad ones are frequent too. A word of advice: If you can read French and if you read the critics in Le Monde and/or Le Figaro said something good about any given show, then most likely it is bad.

Anyways, let's begin with the Ring. Big news was that Wim Wenders wisely opted out from the Bicentenary Ring in Bayreuth and the question "Who will direct the bicentenary Ring?" remains open. Mark Berry expressed hope that Stefan Herheim might take up this job. I'd obviously gladly share that wish if there was no "bad blood" between Herheim and Katharina Wagner. But since EVERYONE was in awe after seeing Stefan's Parsifal in Bayreuth (including the rich sponsors!) the Herheim Ring must still be one in a spectrum of options.

Calixto Bieito's Ring would be great too. His shows are special, clever, and stick to your brain like a bug, and that would definitely make a memorable Ring. To that add a fact that even Katharina is a fan of Calixto's... (she even went to see the recent premiere of his Carmen in Barcelona),  a possibility of the Bieito Ring must be in the air too. But are the conservative sponsors ready for Calixto?!

You shouldn't be surprised if I tell you that I'd prefer to see one of the super-talented young fellas to be given a chance to make the bicentenary Ring special, and vibrating with circa 2010. Names?!  David Hermann, Benedikt von Peter, Tobias Kratzer, Jan Bosse...

Otherwise, purchasing the David McVicar's production from Opéra National du Rhin could be a very safe and a success-guaranteeing choice [a superb production that relatively few people had seen.]

Martin Kusej's theatrical language would have been great for The Ring, but I'm not sure how this would interfere with his new job as Intendant  at Münchner Residenztheater.

I don't believe The Ring is the kind of opera in which Krzysztof Warlikowski would make a major impact but hey, he already did produce a stunning Parsifal so... why not!?

If I tossed an idea with Andrea Breth producing the Bicentenary Ring in it, many of you would've found it  strange. Yet if you think it twice she becomes a viable option. If there is anyone who would make it subtle and emotionally completely different wrt what we're used to see in The Ring, then that would be her.  It would also mean the first woman to produce the Ring in Bayreuth... and I believe in the 21st century the Bayreuth Festival folks are capable to make this step.

Parterre Box and Boulezian are running independently a poll. Please do vote for the director you would like to see run the show in Bayreuth 2013. 


  1. Atypical opera fan you may be, but a highly articulate and humanist reviewer! Hope you get around to von Peter's Parsifal and anything else that drew your attendence: not least because I remain in Irish opera-wilderness and unashamedly live vicariously throgh your posts.

    Surely the biggest problem facing Bayreuth is the time needed to devise a Ring cycle from scratch? Which suggests Katharina has something up her sleave while the others mount several productions a year...
    And presumably in Wagner's 200th other houses will be relunctant to share the goods, otherwise I'd be hollering for a Hamburg import. Herheim and Hermann would both do fantastic cycles, but hopefully elsewhere. Bieto also, for me, wasted on the event. Kusej would be my choice, not least because its amazing he hasn't done it yet; he has a challenging aesthetic and an unremittingly negative Weltanshauung which would be fascinating to see, without having to waste the more delicate philosophies of the aforementioned.

    Oh, and plase say you're going to Herheim's Salome!

  2. This selection of potential directors for the Ring definitely includes the best contemporary directors. My favorite would be certainly Bosse as his 'Calisto' in Basle was just amazing. But I also know that Bieito and Kusej want to direct a Ring - which place would be better than Bayreuth for such production...