qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Brilliant Moments and Tedious Half-Hours

Last night the Proms Ring Cycle was completed with Götterdämmerung. We arrived just before noon and ended up in the second row; the queue filled out quickly in the early afternoon.

Despite the length of the Prologue/Act I (2 hours to the first interval), it didn't seem such a struggle to stay standing and awake. Maybe this was due to the weather (for the previous two years I remember quite intense sunshine while queueing), or maybe it was due to having seen at least some of the Covent Garden production on the TV previously. In any case, Sir John Tomlinson seemed much more suited to his role as Hagen than to last year's appearance singing the Dvořák Te Deum, even if he did go a rather odd beetroot colour when singing. Fortunately the St John Ambulance were not required on this occasion either for the performers or the audience (I remember seeing an incident far away beyond the choir seats during Parsifal in 2000).

It was an interesting collection of performers, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra rather than an opera house orchestra. The Norns and the Rhinemaidens were popular, despite their relatively brief appearances, and among the principal characters, Sir John Tomlinson and Christine Brewer (Brünnhilde) were the most popular. For the final scene, Brewer had changed into a flame-coloured dress to represent the immolation and the destruction of Valhalla. Guest conductor Donald Runnicles did well to keep to time and though the applause was enthusiastic, the audience was clearly worn out by the end.
Tags: music
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