Tuesday, March 28, 2006

critics, and villainous dwarves

The blog ionarts provides links to several reviews of the Washington National Opera's new production of Das Rheingold, mentioned here in the last post. The Americanization of Wagner seems to have attracted a lot of interest, but as usual it's the music that makes or breaks the performance - and most of the critics agree that the WNO's musicians are making it.

I won't be playing any Wagner operas anytime soon, but an upcoming New World Symphony concert features an interesting percussion concerto by Christopher Rouse, titled Der gerettete Alberich. Rouse translates the title as "Alberich Saved," and his piece brings Wagner's villainous dwarf into the contemporary, godless world - at one point Alberich "serves a stint as a rock drummer." You can read Christopher Rouse's program note here, and I'll have more to say when we start rehearsing the piece in a couple of weeks.

note: the picture above (courtesy DCist) shows the giants Fafner (Jeffrey Wells) and Fasolt (John Marcus Bindel)

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