July 23, 2013
Apologies, but by the time you read this Die Walküre at the Proms is nearly over, having started at 8 a.m. PDT. You should have heeded notices in previous columns. To look ahead, Friday's Siegfried will also start at 8 a.m. our time, and the world ends Sunday with Götterdämmerung (or, coming from London, The Twilight of the Gods).
And, here's something you won't see — or rather hear — in any opera house anywhere: On Saturday, the daylong break between Siegfriedand Götterdämmerung, BBC-3 will bring you live from the Royal Albert Hall Tristan und Isolde, that too waking you on the West Coast at 8 a.m.
Daniel Barenboim conducts the Ring, Semyon Bychkov leads Tristan. Lance Ryan sings the title role in Siegfried, with Nina Stemme's Brünnhilde, Terje Stensvold's Wanderer, and Peter Bronder's Mime. Peter Seiffert and Violeta Urmana head the Tristan cast; look out for Mihoko Fujimura'a Brangäne.
Meanwhile, Intermezzo carries AJ Goldmann's report from the Bayreuth dress rehearsal of Frank Castorf's new Ring there:
The curtain rose on a sleazy roadside inn along Route 66 called The Golden Motel. The stage swiveled to reveal a Texaco petrol station and a convenience store/bar. The flag and emblem of the Lone Star State put to rest any doubt about where we were supposed to be.
The Rhine Maidens lounged by the motel pool, drying their laundry and barbecuing. Alberich dove into the shallow water in speedos and cowboy boots to retrieve the gold, but not before munching on a bratwurst (he didn’t so much as eat it as spit the chunks out into the water) and squirting himself with yellow mustard.
Stick with the Proms; the pictures are better on the radio.