Haupz Blog

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A Modern Ring

2022-02-11 — Michael Haupt

Richard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen is quite a mouthful - sixteen hours of music spread out over four evenings. Any director who sets out to stage a performance really has to come up with a concept, or the experience will be boring in spite of the music.

For a long time, stagings were trapped in what you could call "viking style" - the sujet's nordic air would simply be put to pictures. This changed in the Seventies when [Patrice Chéreau staged the Ring in Bayreuth]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jahrhundertring) and gave the whole matter a capitalism-critical spin. Several interesting stagings have followed.

One of them that struck me as really darn cool is the one delivered by the Catalan artist collective La Fura dels Baus in Barcelona. Perhaps my fascination is best explained by remarking that I dearly, dearly love the two Tron movies and their aesthetics. Fura's Ring staging heavily employs video projection (including lots of CGI), technology on stage, and also makes extensive use of the Catalan art of building Castells.

Just take in some of the visuals from Die Walküre (the most beautiful opera of the cycle anyway). Here's a teaser that gives away some of the goodness. As another example, Wotan and Loge's descent to Nibelheim is shown here.

Tags: music