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Subject: Re: Walkuere. - San Francisco
From: "A.C. Douglas" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:A.C. Douglas
Date:Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:36:54 -0400

text/plain (47 lines)

>Why should we trust you [Norm Schoenfeld] when some of us saw the 
>production (in my case only the first three operas since DC ran out of 
>money to stage the whole cycle) and thought that her [Francesca Zambello's] 
>staging and interpretation was quite well thought through and good.

And speaking of that original WNO staging of this "American" _Ring_, 
following a firsthand report on the _Rheingold_ sent to me in 2006 by a 
Wagner-knowledgeable acquaintance.

=== Begin Quote ===
It would be great to report that this new production was a success. 
Unfortunately, it wasn't. [Francesca] Zambello's staging was conceptually 
incoherent. If by an "American" Ring she means mixing and matching elements 
from incommensurable contexts, then the production, I suppose, has something 
to connect it with the notion of what is American. If Zambello intends 
something more fundamentally American, then she has badly miscalculated. 
There is nothing that one can abstract at a fundamental level about an 
"American" Ring by portraying Alberich as a 19th-century gold miner, the 
gods as sort of clownish characters out of The Great Gatsby, the giants as 
dungareed Gumby-like figures, the Nibelungen hordes as exploited 
slave-children, and Erda as an American Indian princess. All these are 
particular instances of things American, but they surely don't add up to a 
definition of an American essence. There is no sense that the parts 
contribute to a greater whole. Oh, and by the way, they have nothing 
whatsoever to do with Wagner's music-drama by any conceptual stretch.
=== End Quote ===

The full report can be read here:


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