Los Angeles Ring Festival 2010

Seminar at MSMC about the LA Ring Festival 2010

“Star Wars” Ring?

Here’s why the LA Opera Ring is being called the “Star Wars Ring.”

Valkyries with Light Sabers

These are the Valkyries with their Light Sabers. This still shot conveys the idea, but to get a fuller visual impression, you can view the video clip on YouTube.  Only in the theater, however, with live action and motion do you get the full impact of this performance.  Think of sparklers in the dark. 

Note the “dead bodies” like mummies at the feet of the Valkyries. These are the fallen warriors who are chosen on the battlefield to become heroes sung and celebrated in the halls of Valhalla. (Implied comment on contemporary heroism?) The “bicycles” are the horses ridden by the Valkyries. These bikes later become the torches spinning around Brunnhilde when Wotan condemns her to the protection of the Magic Fire Circle. Red electric lights are mounted on top of each bike as the bikes turn each on their own axis.

And there in the center is Wotan in one of his incarnations, pulling the Valkyries on ribbon strings. Sometimes Wotan will appear on the stage in several simultaneous incarnations. This particular incarnation has Wotan wearing a floppy-brim hat, the Wanderer’s Hat that usually adorns him at the beginning of the opera Siegfried during the Riddle Contest with Mime. Here the lack of a head enhances the mysterious quality of Wotan the Wanderer as his power and purpose diminish and he gradually gives way to inevitable failure and the growing Twilight of the Gods.

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Filed under: Festival 2010, Reactions & Reviews, Related culture, Ring of the Nibelung

2 Responses

  1. […] Maybe not, but Freyer's entire project smacks of the Jungian, and archetypes have a way of resurfacing. The world of comics is one place where myths survive in the contemporary world; the Freyers are hardly the first highbrow artists to dip into their bright ink. Wagner's saga has also left a mark on the history of comics (a connection my colleague David Ng explored in a recent article). So it's not a shock that the culture of "Kapow!" is as influential on this realization of the Ring cosmology as are puppets or the Jedi of "Star Wars." […]

    • laringfestival says:

      It’s not the first time that theater retrieves the world of puppets and comic cartoons. Goethe begins his Faust poem with a reference to childhood memories of puppet shows, and Achim Freyer referred to Goethe and Freyer’s own children’s toys several weeks ago at the Los Angeles Goethe Institute on Wilshire Boulevard.

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