First Look: Götterdämmerung on Wall Street

Gordon Gekko’s maxim “Greed is Good” is diametrically opposed to what happens in the fourth and final installment of the Ring Cycle, Götterdämmerung, so we’re quite intrigued to see how Frank Castorf’s Götterdämmerung on Wall Street plays out. The premiere isn’t until tomorrow evening. However, judging from these productions stills that Intermezzo was kind enough to…

Siegfried Production Stills

Our friends at Intermezzo have posted a wonderful selection of production stills from Frank Castorf’s Bayreuth Siegfried. The production had its premiere last night. Early reports have indicated that Lance Ryan had a hard time in the second act and that Petrenko’s hitherto exciting conducting turned dull in the third act. We’ll have more on that…

The Walküre Report with *PHOTOS*

The Bayreuth Festival curtain went up tonight on the premiere of Frank Castorf’s Walküre premiere.  In one of the first reviews already online, Peter Huth, critic for the Berlin daily B.Z., writes “Hats off to Castorf.” Apparently, the second installment of the Ring was better received that Rheingold, which reportedly was greeted with loud boos on…

Where’s Castorf?

According to this AFP report, Castorf refused to take the stage during last night’s Rheingold curtain call, which met with vociferous boos. There’s always hope that he’ll show next week for Götterdämmerung… Agence France Presse Controversial German director Frank Castorf refused to show himself at the end of his new staging of Richard Wagner’s “Rhinegold” that premiered…

Bayreuth Press Conference Update

According to the Reuters report from this morning’s Bayreuth Festival press conference, Frank Castorf admitted to having Hitchcock, Tarantino and Jim Morrison on the brain while devising his concept of the Ring Cycle. Although the Wagners are standing by their director, Katharina did strike a somewhat equivocating tone when she said, “It’s not about whether I…

Castorf on Ring: “I’m glad that German fascism didn’t come up”

According to a short report just published by the  German newswire DPA, Frank Castorf, the Ring King of this year’s Bayreuth Festival, doesn’t set out to create a production that addresses Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the cumbersome German word for coming to terms with the Nazi past. Unlike other recent Regie directors who have boldly reinterpreted Wagner for…

Countdown to Bayreuth Opening Night

Tonight is the opening of the Bayreuther Festspiele, arguably the most prestigious event of the German cultural year. Angela Merkel and Joachim Gauk (the German president) are scheduled to attend. These two “Ossies” should be feel at home in Bayreuth this year, which will  speak  with a Berliner accent, thanks to Frank Castorf, a fellow…

Castorf Speaks!

Read this just-published interview with Frank Castorf, director of this year’s Bayreuth Ring, that just appeared on the German newswire Deutsche Welle. After months and months of stonewalling journalists, he has finally broken the silence. Frank Castorf has a healthy skepticism towards the classics Multi-award-winning director Frank Castorf is famous for pulling classical works apart…

Bayreuth Ring Production Stills

UPDATE: I’ve just added the captions that appeared in the Abendzeitung along with a few of my own observations.   These production stills, posted earlier today on the website of the München Abendzeitung, give an even fuller picture of what Castorf has in store for us with his Ring. Why no other news sources have…

Gramophone’s First Look at the Bayreuth Ring

My report on attending last week’s final dress rehearsal is now online at Gramophone.co.uk.  Forget Verdi, Britten and The Rite of Spring. In Germany, 2013 is above and beyond all else the Wagnerjahr. Germany’s most influential and controversial composer has been honoured for his 200th birthday with new scholarly books, magazine cover stories, postage stamps and, naturally, the…

Bayreuth Ring 2013 – Behind the Scenes

These are, to our knowledge, the very first published images from Frank Castorf’s 2013 Ring Cycle that premieres later this week at the Bayreuth Festival. They are black and white photos of Aleksander Denic’s sets for the productions taken from the current year book of the Society of Friends of Bayreuth. According to our sources,…

Further Afield: A Tchaikowsky World Premiere in Bregenz

The Bregenz Festival opens this weekend with the world premiere of Polish pianist-composer André Tchaikowsky’s opera “The Merchant of Venice” in a staging by Keith Warner. For those planning to attend the glamorous festival on Austria’s Lake Constance, here’s a report about this important premiere and its fascinating creator from Opera News Magazine When the…