LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font


Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives

Subject: Schenk or Lepage
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 6 Apr 2012 22:17:39 +0100

text/plain (30 lines)

The Schenk Ring?

OF COURSE The MET had to replace it - first off

The Schenk Ring?

OF COURSE The MET had to replace it - first off  2013 is the "Wagner Year."  Despite what Wagner's detractors may think he, along with Verdi,  Mozart, Strauss, and Puccini, is one of the foundation stones of any opera company's repertory.  For a house like to MET to fall back on its past in such a year for such a complex composer would have been an injustice to all involved, including the audience.  If you subscribe to the theory that Wagner, Mozart, and Verdi (to which I would add the operatic Handel ...) were men of their time rather than men beyond their time, then I suppose you would want the Schenk Ring to continue into perpetuity.  For those who believe these composers had a wider vision I would suggest that the innovative potential of the Lepage Ring was the correct decision for the MET management to have followed - success or lack thereof to be decided by the indviduals (many, many more thanks to Gelb's sponsorship of Live in HD) who
 actually experience it.  I have seen "The Machine" live twice - from the first row of the Grand Tier (Walkure) and 5th row Center Orchestra (Gotterdammerung). ( For the coming 3rd cycle I'm in Row V - a position I would like to improve on.)  Up close the sheer size of "The Machine" is overwhelming - it has the primal power of a monumental piece of architecture and its twistings and turnings bring it to life - as if the stones of Stonhenge could move.  Yes, it does occasionaly creak and groan, but the distraction is momentary and does not, at least for me, detract from the cumumlative impact of the experience. Call me apostate, but Wagner is Theatre not Church and given the scale on which this was imagined there are bound to be glitches.  The further back you go and  begin to add the vastness of the MET's own interior space to the equation the less impressive the whole seems, but from my perch in the Grand Tier I think the panoramic beauty of
 many of the projections can still make for a satisfying "long distance" experience.

There are problems - in this most complex of character dramas the characters are left to fend for themselves.  If the MET wants to fix this Lepage should be given a can of WD 40 and told to tend to The Machine and a real director like Stephen Wadsworth called in to see to the humans.  Wadsworth worked a miracle with someone else's "Boris" and he brings Seattle experience to the Ring.  The "trench" created in front of "The Machine" serves to truncate the singers and should be used only when it makes dramatic sense - not as a default playing area.  Act 1 of Walkure was particularly unfortunate until Kaufmann took charge and jumped onto the apron of the stage.  Gods, goddesses, heros, Nibelungen, etc making routine "walk on / walk off" exits stage right or stage left show an immagination that must have dried up once the enormous challenges of getting the Machine up and running were solved.
That being said, the potential for a visually stunning, musically satisfying, one of a kind "Wagner Year"  Ring is all there.  I think if the MET Management and Mr Lepage would give a little on the doctrine of infallability, they would have both a critical and popular hit on their hands.

Steve Charitan
Hudson, OH

OPERA-L on Facebook:
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
Modify your settings:

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page



CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager