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Documentary About The Met's Latest Ring Production On PBS September 10

  Careless me.  I forgot to mention that as a prelude to  the PBS Ring  this month ,  there will be what looks like a fascinating documentary  on  the controversial production  by Susan Froemke, a noted maker of documentaries , called  "Wagner's Dream ".  It will  show how  director  Robert Lepage and  an army of  technicians  and assistants  prepared the ambitious  and  technologically  sophisiticated  production  for performance  , as well as how the singers  and conductors  adapted to its  consiuderable demands and difficulties . 

   The production features a massive unit set of metal planks which constantly  move  around the huge  Met stage  along with computer-generated special effects of all kinds  which would have been impossible  with conventional  stage technology .  It has caused numerous difficulties for the singers  and there have been  some technical glitches  during performances  which were downright embarassing  .

   Many critics  and  commentators  have  reacted  negatively to the production and even  dismisse it as an artistic failure .  Not having seen it yet, I will withhold judgment  and you can decide for yourself  , although this may be difficult if you don't have other Ring productions with which to compare it .  There are quote a few of them on DVD now,  including the Met's previous  and traditional  version ,  several from the Wagner shrine in Bayreuth  and other  European opera houses  which  tend  to  take  great liberties with  the  story in terms of sets, costumes and staging, setting  the action  in the present day  with  the characters  in modern dress etc. and  have all manner of  ridiculous arbitrary  production gimmicks which fly in the face of Wagner's original intentions .  Such productions have been endemic to Europe  in our time, not only in Wagner, though less so in America . 

Posted: Sep 04 2012, 11:01 PM by the horn | with no comments
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