This past summer I was experiencing the regret of the “more mature” Wagnerian, when rummaging through the bookstores in Bayreuth. These places were my treasure troves 30 years ago. Now, I realized with the vague remorse of increasing age that I either had these books or knew of them and decided not to acquire them. […]
What Happens in Lohengrin?
As a student in the early 1970s I was fortunate to work with a young director named Ron Daniels. Ron went on to work for many years at the Royal Shakespeare Company and recently has concentrated on directing opera — including the recent L.A. Opera premiere of Il Postino. In Ron’s view of theatre — at […]
What a New Production Should Offer
The critical discourse that was prompted by the new Met Ring, combined with my plans to visit the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth for the first time in six years, prompt an attempt to propose a disciplined framework for analysis of a topic that, for many, is intuitive: What do we look for in a new production of a […]
The Met Ring and Critical Incompetence
Unlike others, I have waited to form my overall assessment of the new Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera until I actually saw it. The Cycle is an entirely different experience from each separate installment (remember Wagner furiously refusing to cooperate with Ludwig’s premieres of Rheingold and Walküre in Munich?), though that didn’t stop Alex Ross and others from condemning...
Why Don’t Art Lovers Love Art?
For the 15th time in my life I’m about to attend a performance of the complete Ring Cycle. Since first seeing the complete Ring at the English National Opera in 1975, I’ve attended full productions in New York, Bayreuth, Berlin, Boston, and San Francisco. Every time has been a thrill and a privilege. Each production has prompted […]