Chéreau’s Siegfried is even less obviously “industrial” than his Die Walküre. There’s a forge of course but there rather has to be. Other than that we get workshop, forest and lair pretty much as one might imagine until, of course, we end up back at the ruin where Brünnhilde waits. Brian Large injects lots of smoke at every opportunity.
So much has been written about Patrice Chéreau’s centenary production of the Ring cycle at Bayreuth that I approached reviewing it with some trepidation. I have decided to write about it “as is”; i.e. to write about what I see on the DVD and leave the undoubted historical significance, perhaps even revolutionary impact of the production, to others. Also, it’s apparent that what’s on the DVD, filmed in an empty house as was contemporary Bayreuth practice, must differ from what was seen on the Green Hill in certain key ways. This is a review of what;s seen and heard on the DVD.
OK I’m not going to pretend that Johann Strauss’ Der Zigeunerbaron is profound or anything but it is kind of fun, especially when given the no holds barred Mörbisch Seefestspiele treatment. It’s a tale of mistaken identity and romance with some silly humour thrown in and lots of gypsies (complete with obligatory anvil chorus) and a hidden treasure. Heinz Marecek’s 2000 production is old fashioned spectacular with scads of dancers, galloping hussars and rather outlandish costumes all set on the large Mörbisch island stage and complete with a noisy and spectacular firework display at the start of Act 3. There are bonus pigs.