Heil dir, Sonne!

François Girard’s Siegfried, a revival of his 2006 production, opened last night at the COC.  Despite using the same basic set concept as Atom Egoyan’s Die Walküre, Girard’s Siegfried, has a rather different look and feel.  The fragments of Valhalla and the remains of Yggdrassil are still there but they are supplemented in imaginative fashion by a corps of supers and acrobats who play a key role in shaping the scenes.  For example, in the opening scene we have Yggdrassil festooned with bodies, as if some enormous shrike were in residence.  Some of these are dummies and some aerialists who come into the drama at key points.  The flames in Siegfried’s forge are human arms.  Acrobats make a very effective Fafner in the Niedhöhle scene and the flames around Brünnhilde’s rock are human too.  Most of the characters are dressed in sort of white pyjamas which makes for a very monochromatic effect on the mostly dark stage.  The one visual incongruity is the “bear” who is present, tied to Yggdrassil, throughout Act 1.  Frankly it looks less like a bear than John Tomlinson after a night on the tiles.  Still, all in all, the production is effective without being especially revelatory.

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