07 April, 2009

Opera Review: MET/Das Rheingold

Opera Review: Das Rheingold

March 28
Metropolitan Opera
James Levine

Click for the comprehensive New York Times review

While it is amazing that Robert Lepage should produce the Met's new Ring cycle in 2010, Most opera-loving New Yorkers shall always compare any newcomer to the excellent Otto Schenk production, seen here for the last time before retiring. I have caught Die Walkure and Siegfried previously, but have never watched Das Rheingold.

I grabbed a standing room ticket not long before curtain, and managed to sneak into an unoccupied seat when the light dimmed. Here in NYC, this kind of practice is the norm. No, the ushers won't come charging at you like they do in HK for the "infraction".

The production, captured for posterity in the Levine Ring DVD set, is absolutely amazing, the illusion of water and swimming mesmerizing. There is not much to add to the Times review. I'd just say that I am not a great James Morris (Wotan) fan. Here on this occasion, I even find some of his word-pointing rather mannered. I also thought the orchestral sound was not what it was before, missing some opulence. Overall however, an evening of Wagner is soul-cleansing, a bath in deep and luxurious sound. The supertitles contibute greatly to one's enjoyment.

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