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The second opera in Wagner’s monumental “Ring” cycle, this production follows on from the “Das Rheingold” that we watched in July from Valencia’s Queen Sofia Palace of Arts. It uses the same breathtaking combination of huge digital images and innovative staging by La Fura dels Baus.
As a storm rages, Siegmund the Wälsung, exhausted from pursuit by enemies in the forest, stumbles into an unfamiliar house for shelter. Sieglinde finds the stranger lying by the hearth, and the two feel an immediate attraction. But they are soon interrupted by Sieglinde's husband, Hunding….
Read the rest of the synopsis here...
Lire l’argument en français ici...
This Jury had a higher proportion of “seasoned” Wagnerians than we had for “Das Rheingold”. The sheer length of this work did put some people off. But those who did stay the course were enthralled again by the superb staging and very impressive singing. The Jury was virtually unanimous in its praise — there are almost no negative comments !!!
I liked the music, photography and atmosphere of the production, but it was difficult to understand and very drawn out.
You don’t get much better than this. Perhaps the only criticism I might have is that the second act is a bit long — but that of course is Wagner’s fault.
Production was wonderful. Act one was more emotionally powerful that I might ever have expected to see in Wagner.
I adored the costumes, the décor and the staging. I also very much admired the stamina of the orchestra and artists. They never tired and gave a superb performance from start to finish.
The characters’ imposing stature matched the grandeur of their roles. Magnificent voices! Staging absolutely superb!
I thought this was exceptional. The staging, particularly at the beginning of act two was just stunning. Superb singing and all over a thoroughly good production.
The scenic concept sets the story in its true context: the Cosmos. Beyond time in en intersidereal space/time continuum where our perception of time has no value. This mighty work comes into its own in its musical and dramatalogical design, revealing it as a truly universal composition free of the artifice of “fashion” and stylistic posturing. A production of genius!
Superb technical effects. The use of boom arms raising the Gods high above the ground actually adds to the drama with their movements. You soon forget the mobility of these devices. I did find the costumes a little tacky at times though.
A fantastic production. Gives Wagner a whole new dimensions — one that is at last able to follow his “impossible” stage directions. Powerful voices, powerful images and powerful music. Masterful!
I especially liked the first act and the lights of earth in the last scene. High marks also for the “mobile” with dead soldiers in the second act and bravo for Sieglinde’s “boney” bodice!
I liked the powerful music and the very beautiful voices, particularly the female singers. I didn’t appreciate the staging so much, it’s too modern and too technical…
In spite of the length, this production of “Die Walkure” was very involving. The voices were very good and the singers carried the characters well. Once or twice, the “heroes’” action seemed a bit over the top, but on the whole the special effects supported the story well.
Singing / performance: B+
HDVD production: B+
Overall ranking: B+
As usual, in addition to the Jury ratings we also conducted a survey into whether Jury members want to see this production again, would buy or recommend the disc and how they feel it compares with “being there”.
Here are the main findings for “Die Walküre” from Valencia…
"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in the cinema?"
83 % answered "Significantly better, rather better or comparable.
NB: This Jury included at least 7 frequent opera-goers.
57% of them found this experience better than a live performance.
04 / 09 /2010