A review is merely an opinion.Especially, Opera which is really the suspension of disbelief. My fellow reviewers have missed the point about this rendition of Die Walkure.The Dorst Die Walkure can be considered as good as Chereau's,or the Copenhagen and Valencia's Versions of this opera.The tragedy was, that this Ring cycle has been recorded on CD, instead of on film. The idea behind this Ring was what I was looking for.
Dorst writes for the stage and has often directed his own plays. His view of this opera is the following,"he relies on myth to make his point. The gods are still among us today,only we cannot see them. We ourselves are the cyclists,newspaper readers,caretakers and tourists who occasionally people the stage,blind to higher powers and to any metaphysical dimension". A myth alive within a natural disaster. Dorst has paid tribute to the Stuttgart Ring. At the beginning of Act One, we see modern holiday makers venturing out of a run down house.One has a fishing rod. A little boy runs in and glimpses beneath the rug covering Sieglinde and leaves. This refers to the fact, that children sometimes see beyond. The sword is placed in the fallen telegraph pole. The house windows play tribute to Chereau, who has the same idea in his version.Hunding arrives with his men, wearing dogs head gear. Wotan gazes through the window, while Sieglinde, wearing a dress copied from one of Klimts paintings and Siegmund under go their love affair.Act two opens with Wotan standing on a rock,surrounded by mist,and a red clad Brunnhilde laying on his feet. It reminds me of a painting by the German Romantic painter, Caspar Friedrich.Most of the Act takes place in a dumping ground for old statues,both modern and ancient, including Soviet ones. In the background sits a man reading a paper. Later on when he picks up his bike he is mugged. This is almost off stage. Fricka arrives with two men dressed as rams, she is dressed in a off deep brown Japanese clothes. Act three takes place in a grey collapsed house, surrounded by red tape,to worn intruders. The Walkure are dressed in bright red. They stand out amongest the neutral grey. Very effective.Yellow flames washes over Brunnhilde and at the top of the building you see an out line of Wotan.Great staging. The clothing worn are to give the viewers the impression of beings who are not of this world, and cannot be seen by the modern world, who are too involved in the mundane. Really a traditional ring, mixed in with the modern. Very clever. I would have loved to see the entire ring.
Now for the singers. Hunding is Kwangchul Youn, who holds his own when compared to the other Hundings in the Walkure's I have mentioned. Johann Botha, is a South African Afrikaner, who sings Siegmund and is on a par with singers such as Stig Andersen,Peter Seiffert,Peter Hofmann in the same part. Edith Haller is Sieglinde,and has a distinctive lyrical voice. I hope she sings Isolde with Kaufmann as Tristan one day. That is how highly I regard her. Fricka is Mihoko Fujimura who is good, but not up to the Copenhagen's Fricka Randi Stone,who is. The Wotan is Albert Dohmen. One reviewer mentioned he had trouble with his voice. I did not notice it. A problem is when you have a Wotan with a serious wobble in the Weimar Ring, but I still like that ultra minimalist BluRay recording. Dohmen sings the part as Wagner wanted. I suppose it is all a matter of taste. One persons good Wotan is anothers lousy one. Brunnhilde is Linda Watson, and I found her singing emotional and a true Wagner voice. It is hard to compare Gwyneth Jones, Chereau Ring, Irene Theorin, Copenhagen Ring with Watson, for they all have different approaches. I like them all. I have no problem with Watsons voice, she acts the part well. The Bayreuth Festival orchestra is conducted by Thielemann, with quick tempo and brings out the various textures. It is not emotional as Boulez, but it is a deliberate ploy, to allow the notes to shine though and the passionate singing to come to the fore. The music sounds different when played in Bayreuth,because of the hidden orchestra pit. The Bluray is excellent, because it was filmed to be shown in cinemas. 1080-World Wide. DTS HD.