The Festival was launched with a party at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on the evening of 14 April 2010.
Here are some video clips of that launch:
– daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra played Wagner as the Rhine Maidens found a table at the party, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32TQSy9hHT0
– a Wagner Horn call announced the beginning of the Festival, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gqL59bb1io
– conductor James Conlon spoke at the launch, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se9xv4dF5ns
– the Verdi Chorus added their voices to the party, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9icuTwGEjE
– leader of the Festival, Barry Sanders spoke, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mu1UNKCkWM
– the Rhine Maidens sang the siren song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNetuwPlqQQ
– the food scene was lively and appealing, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeJOO0VAc4k
The several hundred party-goers brought together art groups, civic leaders, and educators in the Los Angeles are. An auspicious beginning of the coming Festival through June 2010.
Filed under: Festival 2010, Los Angeles culture, LA Ring Festival 2010, Los Angeles Ring Festival, Ring of the Nibelung
Freyer’s Valkyrie last night was a stunner! It opened, for me, the greatness and appropriateness of this particular staging of the Ring Cycle. The performance began to gel at the end of the opening scene as Siegmund and Sieglinde move visibly closer to one other across the vast scenic ring at center stage. Previously, the performance continued with the oratorio-like withholding of physical gestures where the human body plays a minimal role in the midst of large-scale puppets, light-sabers, and magic-surreal props.
As the bodies of Siegmund and Sieglinde touched, the connection of evocatively deep emotive music came together and the magic began. The cold 21st-century distances between on-stage characters also melted at other moments, reminding us of the power of Wagner’s long, belabored, sometimes boring build-ups to a single gesture or action that then push the release button to bring the audience to tears. This magical tension-release works smoothly and hypnotically in Freyer’s glittering spectacle.
Other similar moments include the ride of the Valkyries, Wotan’s farewell to Brunnhilde, and the final Magic Fire Circle. Even those who first booed Freyer’s daring Rheingold had to rise to their feet in applause after the Magic Fire Circle shone in radiant splendor at end of the last act.
Skeptics of the LA Cycle will be fewer now that Freyer’s Valkyrie has revealed more of the full conception. Freyer has created a truly 21st-century design, building on the post-World-War-II Bayreuth productions by Wieland Wagner and – as has been pointed out by others – drawing also on Star Wars, Star Trek, and 20th-century sci-fi classics. It’s quite a wonderful cultural surprise to witness an anti-Romantic 20th-century staging that combines a 21st-century search for useable classical gestures. Add to that the sweet, warm, precise conducting of James Conlon and the amazing voice of Placido Domingo: Wow! It’s thrilling to behold.
Filed under: Los Angeles culture, Reactions & Reviews, Ring of the Nibelung
February 24, 2009 • 7:21 pm
Well, here’s the link to Mark Swed’s review in the LA Times. Many of the comments posted in response to his review are not in agreement with Swed. There’s quite a strong – not favorable – reaction to the production.
Here’s the link to the review. Go down below for the comments. Quite strong reactions!
There’s also a gallery of photos from the production that give you an idea of what the commentators are talking about.
Filed under: Festival 2010, Los Angeles culture, Reactions & Reviews
February 19, 2009 • 5:54 pm
Ring Festival Plans 2010 Party for Los Angeles
Yesterday evening, February 18th 2009, on the 21st floor of a skyscraper at 811 Wilshire Boulevard, the Los Angeles Ring Festival was launched. Representatives from 50 cultural institutions listened to Barry Sanders, Festival leader, describe the Festival plan that begins with the first performance of the Ring of the Nibelung at the L.A. Opera this week and that culminates in a party for the city of Los Angeles in the spring of 2010. A celebration of the imagination, he said, can bring our city through difficult times not only with opera but also with many local projects and exhibits that will celebrate the Ring myth. The event was hosted by Los Angeles Magazine.
Filed under: Festival 2010, Los Angeles culture
February 16, 2009 • 9:30 pm
Welcome to our blog about the Los Angeles Ring Festival 2010! We are a group based in L.A. who are studying the Ring of the Nibelung operas and looking at the significance of the Ring Festival 2010 for our community. Our blog originated with the “Two Rings” seminar in the Masters Degree Program in the Humanities at Mount St. Mary’s College led by Dr. Mike Heim. The seminar began in 2007 and continues through 2009, with a Festival version planned for the summer of 2010. The Two Rings seminar focuses on the themes of fellowship and power relationships in both Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien) and Ring of the Nibelung (Richard Wagner). Mount St. Mary’s College is one of 50 cultural partners involved in the Los Angeles Ring Festival.
Filed under: Festival 2010, Los Angeles culture, Festival Brainstorming, J.R.R. Tolkien, LA Ring Festival 2010, Lord of the Rings, Los Angeles Ring Festival, MSMC, Richard Wagner, Ring of the Nibelung, Two Rings Seminar