Sunday 4 November 2007

The London Warner/Pappano Ring: Götterdämmerung

Götterdämmerung. Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. November 2nd, 2007. Production: Keith Warner. Cast: John Treleaven (Siegfried), Lisa Gasteen (Brünnhilde), Kurt Rydl (Hagen), Peter Coleman-Wright (Gunther), Emily Magee (Gutrune), Mihoko Fujimura (Waltraute), Peter Sidhorn (Alberich). Conductor: Antonio Pappano.

Somewhat surprisingly, Keith Warner doesn´t seem to tie the loose ends together in this Götterdämmerung. In the array of directors, from whom Keith Warner seems to have been inspired, Tankred Dorst of the recent Bayreuth Ring may now be added as their Götterdämmerungs looked remarkably similar on several points, such as presenting a Gibichungen Hall with a large white sofa and golden statues of the old norse, which are set on fire at the end with modern-clad people as spectators.
The white door wall from both Walküre and Siegfried serves as backdrop for the Norns as well as a suspended floor for several of the Gibichungen scenes. Perhaps not a particularly original concept from Warner, but neither a boring one.

Since it´s quite obvious that John Treleaven gives everything he has as Siegfried, I´ll cut him some slack and refer to the Siegfried post for further details. And while Lisa Gasteen displayed a beautiful steady voice (top-notes apart) in large parts of the opera, the chemistry between her and Siegfried simply was not there.
What worked, in fact, was the three Gibichungen: Peter Coleman-Wright as probably the best Gunther I have seen on stage. Emily Magee as a superbly acted Gutrune, who unfortunately often was off-pitch. And Kurt Rydl as an exceptionally fine Hagen: Superb acting and steady voice. He obviously had a very good evening and clearly the best individual performance of the evening. Extraordinarily beautiful singing was delivered by Mihoko Fujimura, though virtually devoid of drama. The Norns were fine, included rising-star Marina Poplavskaya, as was the chorus.

Antonio Pappano
continued his brisk, light-headed conducting, which somehow didn´t quite come out as well here as in the other installments, though the majority of the audience seemed to disagree with me based on the endless cheering. Standing ovations from the entire auditorium, however, was reserved for Sir John Tomlinson, who joined in at the curtain calls wearing a suit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I especially loved Antonio Pappano's conducting!
There's a link to my reviews here.

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