Taking on Wagner's Ring Cycle is no easy task. With approximately 16 hours of musical intensity, intricate character development, and striking leitmotifs, this is truly an epic operatic endeavour.
My 90-year-old father, an all-around great guy, took "his brood" to Wagner's Ring Cycle several years ago on a COC opera tour. Our only price for the tour was two years of study and an understanding of all of the leitmotifs! This was the first opera I had ever paid any attention to, and what a job trying to make sense of all of this. At the Vienna State Opera my brain screamed in delight for four days—neurons and interneurons firing and never before pathways opening and forming moment by moment. The Rhinemaidens, Erda, Valhalla and the Wood Bird all settled in my head. Wow! Thanks Wagner, Dad and Dr. David Stanley Porter! I cannot wait for 2017 and Götterdämmerung.
Photo credits: (top) Mats Almgren as Hagen; (bottom) Allyson McHardy, Laura Whalen, and Krisztina Szabó as the Rhinemaidens; both photos from Götterdämmerung (COC, 2006), by Michael Cooper.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001