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Das Rheingold At the Movies

So I went to see the Metropolitan Opera's Rheingold tonight, as I had said I would, unless I didn't. And I'm glad I did. I greatly enjoyed it. Visually and sonically it was very impressive, although opera singers were never meant to be seen in movie-style closeup, the way video productions show them, and it's occasionally disconcerting to find yourself, say, looking down Alberich's throat as he belts out a big note. I'm not going to critique anybody's singing, not being qualified--it all sounded good to me. More important to me, in the case of a filmed production, are the looks and acting ability of the cast, and here those were for the most part more convincing than the set on DVD I watched a few years ago. Bryn Terfel as the dunderhead Wotan was especially good. 

I guess this is the third time now that I've heard the whole opera, and the music is making more sense to me, though I'm still not always sure which leitmotif belongs to which person or theme. And there's really quite a bit of symbolic depth in the story. Unless something comes up to prevent me, I'm planning to see the other three.

Sadly, there were only about a dozen people in the audience. Maybe most of the opera fans saw it the first time around.


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Well, we both saw movies about Norse gods.

Glad you enjoyed it.


Yeah, I thought about that on the way out, when I saw what I took to be Thor on the Avengers poster. He looked more impressive than mine, although he probably didn't sing as well.

Did you see it with one of those things where they broadcast it from its place of performance to many cinemas? I saw many plays in that way in Aberdeen. The audience was always packed to the doors. But that was the RSC, not opera. They do put on operas in that cinema in Aberdeen, but I never went.

Twelve people? That surprises me. I've only attended a Met broadcast once, but on that occasion the theatre was packed -- and for a pretty obscure bel canto opera too. I would have thought that Wagner would pull in more people.

Anyway, I hope you are able to see the other ones as well. It is a dream of mine to, one day, see all four in close succession. Tedious, yes, at times, but the sort of thing one really ought to do once.

Bryn Terfel will be in my town next January to sing Tristan und Isolde, and I am hoping to get a ticket.

Have you ever heard Deryck Cooke's "Introduction to the Ring"? I found it really helped me to learn to identify the leitmotifs -- at least the most obvious ones.

Sort of both, Grumpy: it was a recording of such a broadcast, originally done sometime in the past year, and I guess they had a good enough response to think it worthwhile to re-broadcast it. But that clearly was not the case in this particular theater. I don't have any idea how many people in this area attended the original broadcasts. One would suppose it was a reasonable number if the theater chose to bring it back again, but who knows how that works?--maybe the company that owns this and other theaters had to show it in all if they wanted to show it in a few

It coulda been thirteen, Craig.:-) Or eleven. This is one of three theaters in the general area that are showing them, so maybe it was better at the others. "all four in close succession"--yes, that's one reason I thought I really shouldn't pass this up. I have a yen to hear Tristan. I have a feeling I'll like it.

That intro looks like exactly what I wanted last time I gave Wagner a try. Thanks!

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