Kupfer/Barenboim Ring – 3. Siegfried

We seem to be in some kind of post apocalyptic wasteland.  Mime’s hut looks like a re-purposed storage tank but the bear and the forest are more or less realistic.  It’s all very dark and there’s quite a lot of use of pyrotechnics.  This is also our first look at Siegfried Jerusalem’s Siegfried and he is very good indeed.  He captures the hero’s youthful vigour and arrogance extremely well.  There is a strong performance too from a rather manic Graham Clark as Mime and John Tomlinson continues as a reckless and wild Wanderer.

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Kupfer/Barenboim Ring – 1. Das Rheingold

The 1991 Bayreuth Ring cycle is one of those productions that has become a historical landmark, as much as Chereau and Boulez’ 1976 effort, or maybe even more so.  For many people it is the Ring.  So what is it like?  The staging is very bare and much reliance is placed on effects like lasers and smoke.  It also makes considerable acting and athletic demands on the singers.  It is, in many ways, a very modern production for 1991.

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