Sunday, 19 June 2011

Das Rheingold!

I had a fantastic evening at Leeds Town Hall last night watching Opera North start their Wagner's Ring Cycle project which will see all four operas performed in concert over the next three years.
The Ring Cycle operas are some of my favourite operas and a real personal passion. If you don't know it the music is simply extraordinary!
The operas feature giants, dwarves, gods and goddesses all struggling to be the lords of the powerful and magical ring. This was Wagner’s biggest musical project and Opera North's concert production is visiting concert halls across the north of England in their most ambitious project yet. I'll be seeing this performance again when it goes to The Lowry at Salford Keys in September.

Das Rheingold is the first of the four operas in the cycle and the longest continuous piece in the whole of the cycle lasting almost two and a half hours! The other three operas although much longer come in more manageable bite size chunks. The performance was fantastic and featured a wealth of international talent including Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke singing the role of Loge the god of fire and the American mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker singing the role of Erda the ancient earth goddess. Michael Druiett sang the role of Wotan, chief of the gods and Nicholas Folwell sang the role of Alberich, a dwarfish Nibelung. The orchestra performed brilliantly and was conducted by Richard Farnes. It was a wonderful evening and I am now really looking forward to seeing the other three operas performed as well over the next few years.

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