February 26, 2009 • 8:13 pm
Yesterday evening, the LA Opera production of Das Rheingold was resplendent, vivid, and highly visual.
For people with previous Ring experience, this Rheingold adds a new dimension. The production is visually arresting! Your eyes are challenged to process the stage events much as the Wagnerian music and complex archetypal drama challenges your ears and brain process.
The Brechtian “alienation effect” controls all the staging: the audience is supposed to think and understand rather than react by emotionally identifying with the illusory characters on stage . The initial weirdness of the staging subsides as the metaphors emerge: Wotan’s spear is a shaft of light; Fasolt & Fafner wield large lenses to reflect their magnitude; Loge’s multiple puppet arms reveal his sleight-of-hand skills; Froh and Donner whimsically float in the air. The colors and lights shift constantly within each scene and stimulate the eyes. Contrasts of scale continually surprise, and the audience comes to follow the human-size walking Wotan as an extension of the giant floating Wotan hovering over a side of the stage.
Achim Freyer makes the point like no other production: Loge is the Devil, Goethe‘s Mephistophiles who uses clever logic to tempt Faust. Freyer places Loge at the center of Rheingold and gives him the costume that leaves no doubt about his identity.
Filed under: Festival 2010, 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