January 3, 2006

THINK WAGNER WOULD REBUILD IRAQ AS A DEMOCRATIC PEER?:

Washington Opera To Give Wagner's 'Ring' a New, American Setting (Tim Page, January 3, 2006, Washington Post)

One test of a masterpiece is its ability to withstand many different interpretations. Who would have imagined that the maverick director Peter Sellars could have set Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" in a lavish apartment in Trump Tower and still have the opera seem absolutely true to its 18th-century origins? Director Jonathan Miller placed the action of Verdi's "Rigoletto" in New York's Little Italy, and Frank Corsaro had the same composer's Violetta ("La Traviata") expire in an AIDS ward.

And now Washington National Opera will present Richard Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelung" -- an encyclopedic study of the Norse gods, family politics, greed and the redemptive power of love -- as what the director Francesca Zambello calls an "American Ring." [...]

"Like any Wagnerian masterpiece, the 'Ring' is always contemporary and speaks to us today," Zambello said in a statement. "We have coined the term 'American Ring,' and the designers and I are using American history, mythology, iconography and landscape to set the operas. We are creating a world in some ways familiar to our audience but also one that will feel very mythic as we look to our country's rich imagery. The great themes of the 'Ring' -- nature, power and corruption -- resound through America's past. In many respects, the politicians and celebrities that are today's superstars perform as if they were the gods of Valhalla. It is especially fitting to undertake an American 'Ring' in Washington, D.C., where the concept of global power is a feature of daily life."


Except that we're extending liberty to the world when it would be quite a bit easier to just Gotterdammerung them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 3, 2006 8:53 AM
Comments

There already is an Americanized version of Wagner's Ring, and it's only seven minutes long.

You've seen it, I know. Remember the overture? "Kill the Wab-bit, Kill the Wab-bit, Kill the Wab-bit!"

Posted by: Mike Morley at January 3, 2006 7:43 PM

I hate wabbits; ooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Posted by: Elmer at January 4, 2006 7:41 AM
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