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Opera Around the World: Das Rheingold

Aug 22, 2011 10:16:00 AM
By BLO Staff

Rob Tedesco, former member of The BLO Bunch and doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland shared his thoughts on a recent production of Wagner's
Das Rheingold.

July 29, 2011
Wagner: Das Rheingold
Auckland Town Hall
On Friday, July 29, 2011, I
went to a concert performance of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold, the prelude
opera to Der Ring des Nibelungen.Wagner considered this opera to be a prelude
and the remaining three operas the trilogy itself. This was not the first
Wagner opera I have ever seen. It was, however, the first opera of the Ring
cycle that I had seen live. I now want to see them all!


Need a synopsis?
The opera basically tells
the story of how the gold from the Rhein gets turned into an all-powerful ring
(if this sounds familiar, it is). Both J.R.R. Tolkien and Richard Wagner used
the same Norse legend to complete their respective works. After the ring has
been forged, everyone wants it. This will be a theme during the entire opera
It was quite the
performance. The opening with the leitmotifs brought back memories of the all
the operas (as the leitmotifs certainly should, since they are the musical
depictions of the characters). I thought the orchestra did an amazing job
(considering the stage was jammed packed too). The Horns were struggling
briefly (but did great overall). It was really nice to have Wagner Tubas. You
don’t see them in concerts enough!!
The singers were mostly
very good. The tenors were a little light. The orchestra almost covered them
up. I mean, it was a concert performance of Wagner, which could happen, of
course. Wotan was underpowered. I give a lot of credence to the APO for evening doing this concert since it is such a
tough piece (and expensive with all the extra instrumentalists and singers).
After the concert tonight,
which was after 10:30pm; the concert started at 7:30, There was a Wagner Tuba
concert!! They even have Wagnerian Helmets on their heads.  Great idea (how can they still be playing
after a 3 hour concert I don't know). So many people came, both from the
orchestra and audience. It seems they are having lots of fun. People are
drinking and talking and just having lots of fun. Friends are hanging out. Who
thought of having this concert genius. Wagner tubas are awesome. Next they need
to do Bruckner 8!!
This was the perfect way to
end the concert. I really enjoyed seeing Das Rheingold in concert. I will be
even happier when I actually get to see the entire Ring Cycle myself. For all
the trouble that Wagner has gotten into because of his political views, the
genius of this man cannot be overstated. All four musical dramas (as Wagner
called them) are a testament to Wagner’s compositional prowess. 
-- Rob Tedesco
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Topics: Student Posts, General Opera, World wide opera

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