The Ring Cycle
Wagnerians are like elephants: they never forget. Though the Royal Opera House may have become less conscientious about printing performance histories in its handsome red-covered programs, for many the memories of past Ring cycles at Covent Garden live on. That may not always be a healthy thing – there are of course few more necrophiliac artforms than opera – but it’s impossible to view the opening of Barrie Kosky’s new Ring in isolation.... (read more)
The past few weeks in Melbourne have seen a series of extraordinary musical events that collectively represent the ultimate triumph of the creative spirit over the forces of pestilence – something that applies equally to audiences as well as performers. There is certainly, hanging in the air, a palpable spirit of communion and fulfilled expectations from our re-emergence from the stygian isolation of Covid lockdown into the iridescent aura that only live performances can achieve. In Wagnerian terms, we are all Brünnhildes, reawakening from lengthy slumber to joyfully hail the sunlight. As it was – in life and in art – at Sunday’s magnificent performance of Siegfried.... (read more)
Richard Wagner’s famous pronouncement, ‘Kinder, schafft Neues!’ (‘Children, create something new!’), has often been the inspiration to take daring creative risks, particularly (but not exclusively) with productions of his works. Using The Ring as a starting point, directorial licence has been extended in all sorts of intriguing ways that have, over the years, seen Valkyries roaring around on motorcycles, Rhinemaidens as strutting Victorian doxies, the dragon Fafner at the turret of an army tank, Wotan as a Texan oligarch, Siegfried as a hippie, and Gunther and the Gibichungs as Nazis.... (read more)
Finally liberated from the solitude of our lounge rooms and Netflix subscriptions, sitting in Melbourne’s Regent Theatre shoulder-to-shoulder on Wednesday night felt like a forbidden treat. The palpable exuberance of being back on the town, though, was tempered by a profound appreciation of our delicately privileged position. As the first major opera performance in Melbourne after a protracted Covid shutdown of the live performing arts, Melbourne Opera’s Das Rheingold marks an important moment in the cultural life of the city – the beginning both of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle and of a new chapter in the living operatic history of Melbourne.... (read more)
Der Ring des Nibelungen, presented by Opera Australia three years after its première in Melbourne, was a great success, mostly because of the excellence of the singing ...... (read more)
Peter Rose interviews American Soprano Amber Wagner for the ABR Podcast following the first cycle of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, which is being presented in Melbourne by Opera Australia. Amber Wagner plays the role of Sieglinde in the second opera Die Walküre.