Sunday, 4 November 2012

Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Royal Opera

It was an epic journey. Having seen the complete Ring a few times now, I still found myself completely immersed in the experience. Here were some memorable moments (good and bad):
  • Sarah Connolly as Fricka was a surprise. Having seen her mainly in trouser roles, she was a convincing Wagnerian mezzo!
  • Bryn Terfel as a less bombastic and more pensive Wotan. His best yet. 
  • The ring of fire had a hiccup  at the end if Die Walküre - but the fire came on eventually so all as well.
  • Simon O’Neill was super as Siegmund, and well matched by Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde - their duet at the end of Act I was exhilirating.
  • It took me a long time to get used to Stefan Vinke as Siegfried - there is something odd in the way he shaped the beginning of the words. Then again, you can't beat him for the stamina he'd demonstrated throughout Siegfried.
  • Woops,  Wotan's spear was shattered before Siegfried got there ... there was this collective gasp in the audience! 
  • Susan Bullock was fab as Brünhilde - so much poise, so much emotion in this enormous role. 
  • Sir John Tomlinson's Hagen was pretty evil. Just what the plot needed.
  • The orchestra was by and large very good. Needless to say, Pappano held everything together. Though the brass section (and in particular horns) could be better - not sure whether it was the heat or the playing but the sound lacked sonority.
  • As a whole it was still a wonderful experience to see the complete Ring.