A 2-headed Wotan in LA’s Rheingold. View this Lawrence K. Ho photo at LA Times.
It’s always exciting when there’s a new Ring Cycle — especially a “directed” one (by which I mean not exactly Viking helmets). Over the weekend, LA Opera raised the curtain on its new Ring. You can see video of LA Opera’s Das Rheingold (conducted by James Conlon) at the company’s very good website, and access podcasts, articles and other helpful information.
Even in the short video, the images come fast and furious and since I haven’t actually seen it, it would be unfair to “review” it. I did notice that the “rainbow bridge” looks something like some of the historic airplanes we’ve got hanging in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, Loge has four arms, and the Nibelungs look like the Elephant Man. Read a review of Rheingold at the LA Times.
Die Walkure is next months, followed by Conlon’s latest Recovered Voices effort, which will be The Birds by Walter Braunfels, based on the play by Aristophanes. This series celebrates composers who were silenced during the Third Reich — Braunfels was half Jewish and fortunately survived but was unable to participate publicly in musical life between 1933 and 1945. This opera is available on CD, conducted by Lothar Zagrosek:
Braunfels - Die Vogel
by Walter Braunfels, Lothar Zagrosek, Hellen Kwon, Matthias Görne, Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, Hans Braun, Siegfried Hausmann, Dirk Schmidt Thomas Kober, Iris Vermillion, Endrik Wodrich, Wolfgang Holzmair, Martin Petzold Michael Kraus
Today happens to be the birthday of both Arrigo Boito and Renata Scotto, so I dug up a YouTube clip of Scotto singing “L`altra notte in fondo al mare” from Act 3 of Boito’s Mefistofele.