Author Topic: Kirov Ring at the Met  (Read 11367 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2007, 08:43:05 AM »
Well, after the Ring cycle, this morning I feel a bit like a python that tried to swallow an entire cow at once.  ;D  I mostly enjoyed all of it, although it was a very mixed bag, production-wise.  And after talking with dozens of people over the four nights, the audiences were clearly divided about the production, the singers, and even Gergiev and the orchestra. 

I actually liked George Tsypin's production quite a bit.  During all four operas, the stage was dominated by four large sculptural giants, looming over all the action as if observing it.  Tsypin loves light, and not only did parts of the giants light up, there were small lighted figures (might have been people, hard to tell) that reappeared now and then.  There was also a liberal use of costumes, particularly headgear, designed to glow under ultraviolet light.  In general this production was brightly colored, perhaps as some have suggested, alluding to Russian folklore.

Musically, many in the all-Russian cast were excellent, like Mikhail Petrenko as Hagen (in Götterdämmerung) and Mlada Khudoley as Sieglinde in Die Walküre.  Exciting in a different way were singers like Olga Sergeeva as Brünnhilde (Siegfried), whose voice is really frayed, so (according to a friend who follows her closely) she "goes for broke" since she has nothing to lose.  There were many "passionate but not conventionally beautiful" moments from her and others. 

Gergiev and the musicians sounded mostly very good, and I particularly liked the balance between the singers and the orchestra.  It is easy for the latter to overwhelm those onstage, given Wagner's orchestrations.  At the end of Act III of Götterdämmerung there was a rather alarming collapse in the brass, which fumbled around for a good minute or so, painfully out of tune.  It could have been fatigue, given the ensemble's grueling performance schedule.

All in all, I feel very lucky to have been able to go (just carving out roughly 20 hours is not easy!), and I might even want to do it again sometime (after a suitable rest ;D).  Will be writing up a long review (with photos) for MusicWeb and will post a link to it. 

--Bruce
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~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

karlhenning

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2007, 09:24:25 AM »
Well, after the Ring cycle, this morning I feel a bit like a python that tried to swallow an entire cow at once.

We tried warning you, Bruce  ;D

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2007, 09:32:37 AM »
We tried warning you, Bruce  ;D

Yes, well...like Siegfried, I do not know the meaning of fear.  ;D  ;D  ;D

--Bruce
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Offline knight66

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2007, 09:35:49 AM »
Bruce, Thanks. I should think that virtually any Ring Cycle is going to be a mixed blessing in respect of the cast. I look forward to the full review.....once your bum is no longer numb.

Mike
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2007, 09:39:46 AM »
Bruce, Thanks. I should think that virtually any Ring Cycle is going to be a mixed blessing in respect of the cast. I look forward to the full review.....once your bum is no longer numb.

Mike

Yes, absolutely mixed, that's right.  (And thank you for the poetry... ;D...the numbness is gradually receding...)

And now I feel like listening to some Stockhausen...or something else completely different. 

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

uffeviking

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2007, 05:32:39 PM »
Bruce, what you did took courage, not only an upholstered Hintern. I think this is the way to truly become familiar with a work by totally submerging yourself in it, surrounding yourself with it, hour after hour.

I once went through that with the Ring, different venue and all that, but the submerging: LVDs of the entire Kupfer Ring, piano score on lap, one segment after the other, only interrupting when necessary for food, drink and comfort. I did sleep after Siegfried and probably dozed off now and then also. Now if I could only repeat this experiment in person, live!

Hey, I even wore a Rheingold sweatshirt from the Seattle Opera!

Looking forward to your review!  :)

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2007, 05:34:27 PM »
Well, after the Ring cycle, this morning I feel a bit like a python that tried to swallow an entire cow at once.  ;D  I mostly enjoyed all of it, although it was a very mixed bag, production-wise.  And after talking with dozens of people over the four nights, the audiences were clearly divided about the production, the singers, and even Gergiev and the orchestra. 

I actually liked George Tsypin's production quite a bit.  During all four operas, the stage was dominated by four large sculptural giants, looming over all the action as if observing it.  Tsypin loves light, and not only did parts of the giants light up, there were small lighted figures (might have been people, hard to tell) that reappeared now and then.  There was also a liberal use of costumes, particularly headgear, designed to glow under ultraviolet light.  In general this production was brightly colored, perhaps as some have suggested, alluding to Russian folklore.

Musically, many in the all-Russian cast were excellent, like Mikhail Petrenko as Hagen (in Götterdämmerung) and Mlada Khudoley as Sieglinde in Die Walküre.  Exciting in a different way were singers like Olga Sergeeva as Brünnhilde (Siegfried), whose voice is really frayed, so (according to a friend who follows her closely) she "goes for broke" since she has nothing to lose.  There were many "passionate but not conventionally beautiful" moments from her and others. 

Gergiev and the musicians sounded mostly very good, and I particularly liked the balance between the singers and the orchestra.  It is easy for the latter to overwhelm those onstage, given Wagner's orchestrations.  At the end of Act III of Götterdämmerung there was a rather alarming collapse in the brass, which fumbled around for a good minute or so, painfully out of tune.  It could have been fatigue, given the ensemble's grueling performance schedule.

All in all, I feel very lucky to have been able to go (just carving out roughly 20 hours is not easy!), and I might even want to do it again sometime (after a suitable rest ;D).  Will be writing up a long review (with photos) for MusicWeb and will post a link to it. 

--Bruce


Thanks for that Bruce and I look forward to that link :)

Just out of interest...

1. Was the Ring staged over four consecutive nights?

2. What was the start time each evening?

3. Is there an 'intermission' after each act?

4. Is there an 'intermission' during Das Rheingold? [between Scenes 2 & 3?]

5. What time was it finishing each night?

Thanks  :)

Edit: I just saw that the answer to question #1 is 'Yes'.  ;)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2007, 05:37:39 PM by Solitary Wanderer »
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M forever

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2007, 06:50:24 PM »
I once went through that with the Ring, different venue and all that, but the submerging: LVDs of the entire Kupfer Ring, piano score on lap, one segment after the other, only interrupting when necessary for food, drink and comfort. I did sleep after Siegfried and probably dozed off now and then also. Now if I could only repeat this experiment in person, live!

That's not how that is supposed to be experienced anyway. It is supposed to be heard/seen on 4 consecutive days.

uffeviking

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2007, 04:17:04 AM »
. . . I did it MY way . . .  ;D

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2007, 04:54:27 AM »
Thanks for that Bruce and I look forward to that link :)

Just out of interest...

1. Was the Ring staged over four consecutive nights?

2. What was the start time each evening?

3. Is there an 'intermission' after each act?

4. Is there an 'intermission' during Das Rheingold? [between Scenes 2 & 3?]

5. What time was it finishing each night?

Thanks  :)

Edit: I just saw that the answer to question #1 is 'Yes'.  ;)

Yes, they did the cycle twice: Cycle 1 was on two Friday-Saturday nights, and Cycle 2 was in between those, on four consecutive nights:

Mon: Das Rheingold: 8:00-10:30pm, no intermissions
Tue: Die Walküre: 6:00-11:30 (roughly), two intermissions (between acts)
Wed: Siegfried: 6:00-11:30, two intermissions
Thu: Götterdämmerung: 6:00-11:30, two intermissions
Fri: nap  ;D

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2007, 12:28:49 PM »
Yes, they did the cycle twice: Cycle 1 was on two Friday-Saturday nights, and Cycle 2 was in between those, on four consecutive nights:

Mon: Das Rheingold: 8:00-10:30pm, no intermissions
Tue: Die Walküre: 6:00-11:30 (roughly), two intermissions (between acts)
Wed: Siegfried: 6:00-11:30, two intermissions
Thu: Götterdämmerung: 6:00-11:30, two intermissions
Fri: nap  ;D

--Bruce

Thanks Bruce.

Quite a mission :)

I look forward to my oppertunity to experience the entire cycle live.
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2007, 12:38:15 PM »
Thanks Bruce.

Quite a mission :)

I look forward to my oppertunity to experience the entire cycle live.

It was fun, truly.  And half the enjoyment was offstage: chatting with friends (and total strangers) and observing the crowd, some of whom were in formal wear (note: it was roughly 85°F/30°C and humid the entire week), others in t-shirts and jeans.  Then there was the occasional "art project" like the young couple dressed in suit-and-tie and a red mohawk (he), and little black dress and dark blue hair (she).  ;D

I would do it again sometime, definitely.  Don't see "chasing the Ring all over the world" like some I know - too much music to listen to - but would like to see a different production.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2007, 12:47:05 PM »
Yes, I guess a music event like that would draw both the faithful and the curious.

At this stage I'm interested to see another DVD version after completing the Met edition. :)
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2007, 12:45:43 PM »
Question for Bruce :)

How much were the tickets for the recent Ring Cycle?

I'm curious ???
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2007, 12:53:19 PM »
I believe the range at the Met was from $100 (standing room) to $1,300.  :o  According to The Guardian, the Wales Millenium performance sold out in three hours, at £80 (standing room) to £750. 

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2007, 01:07:57 PM »
I believe the range at the Met was from $100 (standing room) to $1,300.  :o  According to The Guardian, the Wales Millenium performance sold out in three hours, at £80 (standing room) to £750. 

--Bruce

Thanks for that.

Does 'standing room' mean what I think it means [shudder]  :o
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2007, 01:14:09 PM »
Thanks for that.

Does 'standing room' mean what I think it means [shudder]  :o

It does indeed!  ;D  All 20 hours' worth!  And the Met's two cycles appeared to be sold-out.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2007, 01:17:50 PM »
It does indeed!  ;D  All 20 hours' worth!  And the Met's two cycles appeared to be sold-out.

--Bruce

So they sell tickets for seats that they don't have ??? As much as I'd love to see it performed live, the prospect of standing through the whole thing is unattractive. :(
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2007, 01:24:17 PM »
So they sell tickets for seats that they don't have ??? As much as I'd love to see it performed live, the prospect of standing through the whole thing is unattractive. :(

Oh no, you buy standing room in advance, just like a ticket, so you're guaranteed admission.  The standing room sections at the Met are reasonably nice: they have padded armrests for you to lean forward on, and all spots include the Met Titles (their subtitling system).  There are two standing room sections, one downstairs, at the back of the main orchestra level, and one all the way up in the top tier, the "family circle." 

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2007, 01:29:12 PM »
Oh no, you buy standing room in advance, just like a ticket, so you're guaranteed admission.  The standing room sections at the Met are reasonably nice: they have padded armrests for you to lean forward on, and all spots include the Met Titles (their subtitling system).  There are two standing room sections, one downstairs, at the back of the main orchestra level, and one all the way up in the top tier, the "family circle." 

--Bruce

Hmmm, interesting information. I think I'd still prefer a bum rest over an arm rest ;)

Is the concept to get more people into performances? Is it unique to a limited run like the Ring or common for high demand performances? I recall hearing that they have 'standing room' at Bayreuth as well :)
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte