The 2018/19 Season at Wiener Staatsoper

The busiest opera house on earth (a fact, not an opinion) just announced its 2018/19 season, the second-to-last under the successful intendanz of Dominique Meyer. Among the 50 operas that will light up the stage of the Ringoper, a new production of Richard Strauss’ masterpiece “Die Frau ohne Schatten” is perhaps the highlight. The performances…

Castorf / Petrenko Bayreuth Ring Download Links

Now that the dust has  settled somewhat after the unveiling of Frank Castorf’s much-despised bicentennial Ring Cycle, all indications point to the Russian maestro Kirill Petrenko as the new hero of Bayreuth. In case you missed the radio broadcasts, here are links to mp3 files of the full cycle. The whole kit and kaboodel  weighs…

Bayreuth Ring Round-Up

Last night, Frank Castorf unveiled part four of his Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuther Festspiele. If the early reviews are any indication, this may be the most hated Ring in the history of the festival. “Boos, Boos and More Boos Greet Director of Bayreuth ‘Ring,’” screams the headline of Catherine Hickley’s review in Bloomberg…

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…

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…

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…

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,…