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Take That!

Achim Freyer's Redemption through Geometry, Metaphysics and Light Sabers Although I am focusing on design and direction in these notes on LA OPERA's Ring Cycle, it would be a travesty here not to applaud the spectacular vocal performances last night. I would single out Anja Kampe, whose performance was jaw-droppingly powerful, tender and transfixing...but then that would leave out Placido Domingo's powerful, expertly polished performance with its subtly Italianate flourishes so right for the part of Seigmund; or Linda Watson's spectacular Brunnhilde. Eric Halvarson (Hunding) has a basso so profound I would be terrified to be in the same room with him singing, and Vitalj Kowaljow performed a nuanced and complex Wotan. Michelle DeYoung … [Read more...]

Here’s Looking at You Wotan

The Dilemma of Watching Wagner – Theatrical eminence Achim Freyer has an astonishing portfolio: please check out the photos of the productions he's done at his own company Freyer Ensemble. http://www.freyer-ensemble.de The task of staging the mythic, grand and otherworldly works of the Ring cycle involves scholarly mastery and a theoretical rigor. Any major opera company needs to engage a theater artist who is credentialed and bears the imprimatur of a cultural establishment. Wagner after all is the epitome of a grand master, a model for the hyperinflation of artistic importance...big themes set to brilliant grandiose music, and backed up by the most refined musical skills that Western culture can provide. The musical … [Read more...]