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Wednesday 23 May 2012

Die Walküre with Fulham Opera


I blogged about it for Bachtrack. Read it here:

It's a bonkers undertaking, and I admire them greatly for doing it. I didn't know whether to call it an amateur or a semi professional production - they're clearly all very trained singers, but clearly also doing it for the love of it, which is of course the true definition of amateur. Simple things would have made it better like just having blinds on the west facing windows so that we could see the projections, or having the surtitles projected from above rather than the side, but basically I was impressed. Much as I love Die Walküre, there are boring corners in it (sure, not that many), and they were made more trying by the piano only accompaniment. But again, how could you not admire someone for just playing the entire opera at the piano, and having to carry the entire thing musically.

This also occurred to me, which was maybe inappropriate to include in the review, but I did anyway:

The problem with "updating" The Ring (which usually involves stripping it of its supernatural aspects), is not just how to get round the constant references to swords, curses and gods, but also that the meaning of the text is changed by the context and by extension, the characters' motivations and beliefs, and therefore ultimately the content of the drama. The onus is on the director to supply this new interpretation with whatever is required to make the work as compelling and powerful as it is in the original mythological setting that Wagner envisioned.

Need to think about this, and expand on it in the future.

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