Monday, 23 June 2014

Wagnerian perfection?

Götterdämmerung (Opera North, Symphony Hall, still touring)

It was thoroughly indulgent to have a second visit to Götterdämmerung, but a very wise move.

In Symphony Hall, the acoustics were clearer, sharper; all 200+ had settled in to their roles, so it seemed slightly looser. I present that only as observation, not criticism. It was still incandescent, but the cooler climate, whilst undoubtedly more comfortable, perhaps made the whole thing seem slightly less fevered.

The extra foot of space given, most visible from out position, gave the Rhinemaidens in particular room to flow more river-like. The First Norn, Fiona Kimm, was much improved. So with the two miniscule gripes demolished, I might seriously posit this was perfection. Alwyn Mellor shone still; Mati Turi, remained a wonderful Siegfried; Eric Greene seemed even stronger, even more ambitions; Mats Almgren was even more grasping, menacing. Jo Polheim left everyone wishing Alberich starred much more heavily in this instalment.

Overall: it could be decades before a Ring of this quality; the forecast for 2016 is pretty good when Farnes says farewell with complete Rings. I'm saving cash now. 

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