The Wagner Journal

Left in the Dark: Matthew Rye finds that a close-up view of Guy Cassiers’ Milan ‘Ring’ does little to reveal what it’s all about

Left in the Dark: Matthew Rye finds that a close-up view of Guy Cassiers’ Milan ‘Ring’ does little to reveal what it’s all about

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Review of Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed Cassiers, conducted Barenboim, Milan, 2010–13 (Arthaus Musik, 7 DVDs).

July 2014, Volume 8, Number 2, 74–9.

Can directors still bring new ideas to the staging of Wagner’s Ring? Michael P. Steinberg (dramaturg to this production, but uncredited as such in the DVD documentation), in introductory essays to these recordings, makes the conceivably simplistic division of the performance history of the cycle as falling into different periods dwelling either on myth, or history, or both. After thirty years of post-Chéreau neo-mythologising, he suggests, Guy Cassiers returns to Chéreau’s ‘history’ theme, but places ‘our present and our future into the context of the promises and curses that we have inherited from history’. 

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