The Wagner Journal

Katherine R. Syer, Michael Levine and the COC ‘Ring’

Katherine R. Syer, Michael Levine and the COC ‘Ring’

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Review of Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed Levine, Egoyan, Girard, Albery, conducted Bradshaw, Toronto, 2006.

March 2007, Volume 1, Number 1, 86–91.

There is an obvious logic – quite aside from the model established by Wagner in 1876 – to maintaining the same production team throughout a complete Ring cycle. After all, are not these operas supposed to give the impression of belonging together, especially when they are performed altogether? Why then, one might then ask, would an opera company mounting a complete cycle choose a different production team for each of the four operas? Is the Ring simply too much of a commitment, especially given the tendency to launch the operas separately at first, across one or more seasons? The following remarks will attempt to contextualise the COC’s production strategies and, drawing upon an interview with Michael Levine, will expand upon what Barry Millington has described as Levine’s ‘far-reaching impact’. In the process, issues of unity and disunity provoke some reflection on the Ring itself.

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