Gods and Nibelungs on the Pacific Coast: the Three Ring “Siegfrieds”

The following summarizes the story line of the third opera of Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelungs”, with my impressions of three very different approaches to performing the opera, from respectively the Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera and San Francisco Opera. For the two previous features in this series, see: Gods and Nibelungs on the Pacific Coast: the … Read more

Review: “Götterdämmerung”: Strong Finish to the First Zambello “Ring” – San Francisco Opera, June 19, 2011

This is the fourth report on the first complete performance of the tetralogy of operas that comprise Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelung”. Although most of concept director Francesca Zambello’s ideas for staging the work have surfaced over the past five years, as the first three of the four operas debuted with Washington National Opera at … Read more

Review: Down and Out in Zambello’s American Ring – Sly, Theatrically-Centered “Siegfried” Satisfies – San Francisco Opera, June 17, 2011

San Francisco Opera’s first complete performances of “Der Ring des Nibelungens” in a dozen years, continued with “Siegfried” in Francesca Zambello’s reconceptualization of Wagner’s tetralogy of operas, based on American images. In reflecting on Zambello’s concept, one of its striking features is portraying  the tetralogy’s major characters as “downwardly mobile” – exemplified in “Das Rheingold” … Read more

Review: Power Singing, Powerful Imagery in Zambello’s “Walküre” – San Francisco Opera, June 15, 2011

This is the fourth time I have reviewed Francesca Zambello’s reconceptualization of Wagner’s “Die Walküre”, the second installment of the four opera “Ring of the Nibelungs”. The Wotan and Brünnhilde for three of the reviewed performances, respectively, were Mark Delavan and Nina Stemme. The Sieglinde for two of the performances was Anja Kampe, and I … Read more

Review: “Rheingold” Evolves in First Full Zambello “Ring” – San Francisco Opera, June 14, 2011

When the ideas for Francesca Zambello’s American Ring, a 21st century relocation of Wagner’s four opera “Der Ring des Nibelungen” to North American shores, was first announced in mid-decade by the Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera, a number of broad themes were envisioned that incorporated features of American history, environmentalism, and the role of … Read more