The Royal Opera House is involved in what seems to be one of the most exciting musical projects of the coming summer. From 29 July, the Mariinsky Theatre (with producer Victor Hocchauser) brings to London Wagner's tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen, in a production conceived by conductor Valery Gergiev and set-designer George Tsypin, one of Gergiev's long-standing collaborators.
Since its premiere in St. Petersburg in 2003, this production has traveled the United States, Europe, and Asia, appearing in the most famous opera houses and becoming a cornerstone in the Ring's history of productions. It made also an extraordinary appearance in Baden-Baden in 2003-04, making the Mariinsky Theatre the first foreign company to perform the Ring Cycle in Germany. In a famous review, The New York Times defined this production as ‘one of the four or five most important stagings since the middle of the last century'.
Gergiev and Tsypin's creation is a particularly inventive and sophisticated one. From the Opera House's announcement we learn that they drew on 'Russian, Caucasian and Scythian folk mythology'. As Gergiev himself puts it, 'The production was completely developed in St. Petersburg using our knowledge, our emotions and our ideas. In Ossetia, where I come from, our own folktales parallel the myths that inspired Wagner, so I knew we would be able to find a new visual approach to the Ring that is internationally understandable' (from the Met's Press Releases).
Gergiev's Ring cycle was first performed for the British audience in 2006 at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. Finally, in 2009, it returns to the UK; and this new Royal Opera project seems to be a unique occasion to re-discover a major production in which first-rate international artists will be involved.
List of performances
Wednesday 29 July, 7.30pm
Thursday 30 July, 5pm
Friday 31 July, 5pm
Saturday 1 August, 4pm
Public booking opens on 28 April. For priority booking and further information, see http://www.roh.org.uk/whatson/mariinsky/index.aspx
Review of Das Rheingold at the Royal Opera House, 2007
Review of Die Walküre at the Royal Opera House, 2007
Review of Siegfried at the Royal Opera House, 2007
Review of Götterdämmerung at the Royal Opera House, 2007
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