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Götterdämmerung, The Royal Opera

This was the last opera of Wagner's Ring Cycle of the current production by Keith Warner at the Royal Opera at Covent Garden. It was a pretty full house last night and the slightly earlier start of 3 PM made the whole day manageable (imagine having to dash from the office to the opera for a 4:30 start and finishing at 11:00!)


What was enjoyable? Pappano's pacing of the music - the opening prologue of the Norns was unusually slow and the pace duly picked up by the time we reached the climax of the Siegfried and Brünnhilde's duet in Act 1; Siegfried's Rhine Journey (with a slightly futuristic and digital projection that worked); John Tomlinson's Hagen (even with his wayward intonation at those particularly evil moments); Mihoko Fujimura's Waltraute had real meat in her voice.

What was not enjoyable? The beginning of the immolation scene - why was Brünnhilde stuck right at the back of the stage when her voice was dampened by the distance and the orchestra in front? Can we have a better Siegfried next time? John Treleaven's voice was OK but he did not have enough heroism in the timbre. Do we really need naked Rhine maidens at the end (even though I think they were wearing merkins)?


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