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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Zurich Ring Cycle focuses on dysfunctional family of gods

ZURICH ( Associated Press) – Wotan has asked other gods to join him in his walk to Valhalla, his new home acquired at a high and painful cost. Instead of chasing, they shot him in contempt and allowed him to enter on his own.

Andreas Homocki’s production of Richard Wagner’s “Das Ringold”, which opened at the Zurich Opera on Saturday night, is a family affair, separating Wagner’s mythology from the usual trappings, instead laser-focused on a clumsy, brooding bunch. But greed consumes it. No rainbow bridge, no sign of a river, mountain tops or underground mines, not even an eye patch.

“You don’t have to look at Valhalla built by giants,” said conductor Gianandrea Noceda.

11-13 Only a 25-minute walk from the Escher House flats in Zeltweg, where Wagner composed the first two acts of “Rheingold,” “Die Walkeur” and “Siegfried” from 1853–57, the Zurich Opera made its first “Der” “Staging. Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung)” followed by Robert Wilson’s generally loud rendition of 2000–01. Homokie and set designer Christian Schmidt will debut four operas over two years, culminating in the Ring Cycle in the spring of 2024. Will be in a pair of.

Homöki, intended for Zurich Opera since 2012, has been directing Ring amid his impressions at home, where he will be succeeded in 2025 by Mathias Schulz, currently employed at Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

“Actually 70% of the piece was built in a house that I drive by my car to go to rehearsals,” Homoki said before the opening. “In a way, as the ring traces back to its source, it adds an interesting coincidence as to what we want to do with the ring. So the emphasis is on looking at the structure, rather than explaining what this and that mean.” Will go.”

He placed the “Ringold” in three large rooms, which rotated on a turntable, which Homoki compared to the mind’s imagination of a heavenly mansion.

Almavivas or Larin would be at home here. Valhalla, the newly completed Palace of the Gods, was seen in a painting punctuated by giants demanding payment and at the end of the night was represented by a new golden table of stage-wide length.

“There aren’t all kinds of mythical god figures like this. It’s almost like creating a family drama,” said Christopher Purves, a 62-year-old British bass-baritone who portrays the dwarf leader Alberich in a black leather sleeveless vest. Hai, said. “I think it’s relatable for the audience. I think they’ll understand who the characters are, but also where they come from, why they’re angry, why they’re bad. I think in some ways it’s quite easy to read.”

Wotan (Tomasz Konieczny) was like a banker in a gray three-piece suit and Fricka (Patricia Bardon) was in a green dress that conveyed a hint of elegance and big bucks.

Costume designer Florian Schaaf dressed up as Froh (Omer Kobiljak) and Donner (Jordan Shanahan), the god of light and thunder, with cricket bats in rowing blazers and straw boaters as Dandy. The heavyweights, Fasolt (David Soar) and Fafner (Oleg Davydov), were topped by Tyrolean hats. Only Loge (Mathias Klink), the god of fire, who both embraced and drove the others away, looked out of place in a rusty velvet coat and long stiff hair. The Rheinmaidens were in white with a Marilyn Monroe wig, Erda also in white, and the Nibelung in black.

Far from the thematic concepts that have multiplied over the past half century, the staging of homoki relies heavily on the personalities of the characters—and what the singers bring to the roles.

“Alberich is written with my mind in mind – it suits my character very well,” Purves said. “A little bit of dirty talk. We as artists very much enjoy finding the terrible things in our souls that we can then put on stage that we wouldn’t normally perform in real life.”

In the 1,100-capacity home jewelry box – houses in New York, London, Paris, Munich and Milan are huge – singers don’t have to push their voices. Noseda made a propulsive, electric performance in his first attempt at Ring Opera, increasing in intensity and decibels at critical moments.

“It has been very inspiring and enriching,” said Noseda, 58, who last became music director of the Zurich Opera. “Just the fact that the idea for the Ring was born in this town makes it all the more meaningful.”

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