Bayreuth Festival's new Siegfried. In a direct steal from Francesca Zambello's staging of The Ring for San Francisco Opera, Mime & Siegfried live in an Airstream, here parked beneath giant stone heads of Marx, Lenin, Stalin & Mao. Siegfried has no bear but instead has the motel attendant from Rheingold tied to the end of a rope. In act 2 the enormous set rotates to reveal the world clock & subway station at Alexanderplatz. As in the previous operas, we also saw live & pre-taped video segments.
Tenor Lance Ryan as Siegfried sometimes made a bright, ringing sound & at other times sounded wobbly or squeezed. He moved actively on stage & never tired. Tenor Burkhard Ulrich acted the role of Mime more than sang it & gave an enthusiastic & animated performance. Bass-baritone Wolfgang Koch as The Wanderer sang with expressiveness & authority, even though the production had him looking like a seedy clown. Bass-baritone Sorin Coliban was fittingly heavy & gruff as Fafner. He never appeared in the form of a dragon, though a crocodile was onstage for part of his scene. Bass-baritone Martin Winkler was an impassioned & snarling Alberich.
Mirella Hagen indeed sounded warbly & bird-like as the Forest Bird. She was onstage in act 2 looking like a cross between a Vegas show girl & a Hopi Indian. She returned in act 3, only to be swallowed by a crocodile. Her costume was ungainly, & during her curtain calls she nearly knocked Alberich over & had to shuffle sideways to get offstage. Mezzo Nadine Weissmann had a soft & sultry voice as Erda. I really enjoyed soprano Catherine Foster's lissom, warm, & pretty voice for Brünnhilde. Her singing fit the act 3 music beautifully.
Kirill Petrenko continues to sound great, playing with suppleness & agility. The strings & harp sounded gorgeous in the music depicting Brünnhilde's awakening. Somehow it seemed like the horn soloist in act 2 was not playing the right notes. There were boos for each act, & at the end the audience unanimously directed loud boos & whistles at the production. The principals took curtain calls after each act, & their performances were applauded appreciatively, though Mr. Ryan received a few boos. The final curtain call lasted 5 minutes.
Die Oper Tratscherin attended in this bear-inspired ensemble. Since it also happened to be my birthday, we ate fancy appetizers & desserts in the Festspielrestaurant.
Bayreuther Festspiele 2013
Musikalische Leitung, Kirill Petrenko
Regie, Frank Castorf
Bühnenbild, Aleksandar Denić
Kostüme, Adriana Braga Peretzki
Licht, Rainer Casper
Video, Andreas Deinert & Jens Crull
Siegfried, Lance Ryan
Mime, Burkhard Ulrich
Der Wanderer, Wolfgang Koch
Alberich, Martin Winkler
Fafner, Sorin Coliban
Erda, Nadine Weissmann
Brünnhilde, Catherine Foster
Waldvogel, Mirella Hagen
Samstag, 17. August, 16:00 Uhr