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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

In Bayreuth, the golden child becomes a berserker

Will this now be the “Children’s ‘Ring'”? Enthusiasm and boos for the “Rheingold”, the start of the new “Ring des Nibelungen” in Bayreuth, staged by Valentin Schwarz as the story of a mafia family clan. Singing is far too average.

Light plays on gentle waves. Are we at the bottom of the Rhine? No, in the amniotic fluid. The two strands, which in the opening video of the E flat major weave rising from the double bass depths intertwine almost like a double helix, are the umbilical cords of twins. Their faces look peacefully asleep – and yet they start a fight: a slap in the eye here, a kick between the legs there.

It’s the unequal brothers Wotan and Alberich who couldn’t keep a truce even in their mother’s womb. Wotan has suffered a scar – and the daughters of the Rhine soon make fun of Alberich not only passively, but apparently also actively incapable of love. By the way, they are nannies who look after their charges at a pool in front of a desert egg – and maybe that’s why they like to have a sharper tone of voice. Alberich is now a long-maned, white-bearded late revolutionary in jeans and a leather jacket and as such is of no interest to the smart young ladies. Even the children soon tease him as if they were giving Verdi’s “Falstaff”.

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