Sunday, August 23, 2015

Götterdämmerung - Bayreuther Festspiele 2015


The final day. The temperature reached its highest point and my stamina its lowest. The brain felt a little numb after three nights of messed up Ring world created by Castorf.
The stage has (once again) two sides that constantly spin: a donner stall in Kreuzberg-Berlin and a building wrapped in huge white cloth ala Christo & Jeanne-Claude (which reminded people of Reichstag in Berlin), later revealed as New York Stock Exchange in the final act. Spoiler alert: Brünnhilde didn't throw herself to Siegfried's funeral pile, she went to the side of stage after giving the Ring to the Rhine's Daughters, who threw it into the fire. Hagen stared the scene desperately. Another video montage. Fin. 


Overall the production on its final night was much better (especially than Siegfried). There were still a lot of throwing stuffs, but the sound was somehow less distorted by it. The main focus was the drama and the original story. But in incoherent settings and staging. Good job, Castorf.


Stefan Vinke triumphed once again as a very charismatic Siegfried. Thank God he'll come back next year. His youthful voice and energy on stage should grace Bayreuth for many summers to come.
Catherine Foster is simply perfect, her range of vocal expression is complete in every sense. A very moving final monologue.
Stephen Milling got the loudest applause that night. His Hagen sounded braver and smoother than others, less of a villain and more of a storyteller in my opinion.
The rest of the cast is excellent, Bayreuth standard.


Conclusion: The whole Castorf-Ring has the potential to be cult, but its realization in details is way too off the mainstream. Beside, Castorf got his own idea and story line that he injected to the Ring, made the production sometimes quite unbearable to see and at the same time quite impossible to be understood without attending the introduction presentation earlier in the afternoon. Kirill Petrenko's intepretation after the whole 3 summers is almost legendary - it sure is a great point in his resume before starting his duty in Berlin in 2018. The cast this year is also strong, arguably improved from last year. Hopefully the musical interpretation stays exceptional under the baton of Marek Janowski next year.
AnAleksandar Denić stays a true winner. 







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