Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wagner's Ring - Generals over, cycle 1 starts very soon

The rehearsals are over, now its time for the show. Its been quite a slog - real hard work, and I am not in the whole program, being rostered off Seigfried. Its not the notes thats the problem - its very wll written for the bass, with far greater challenges for the fiddles, celli and horns. It the concentration that is the real test. Gotterdamerung runs for just over 7 hours in this version, with two main intervals of 1:30 and 35 mins, so thats 5 hours of music. Most operas run less than 3 hours, with one or maybe 2 intervals so no more than 2:40 with a break. Rheingold is 2:40 with no break, and althought thats the "short" opera, its still a challenge to keep focus at the end. But Gotterdamerung is altogether a different kettle of fish. The last act as 1:30 and we start it 5:30 after the start of the gig. Its a marathon...

...but amazing satisfying. It keep moving, never gets stuck. The music is remarkable. Such a range of emotions, fantastic scoring, much of it quiet and intimate.

The ring is a huge finish to a huge year. I have performed 42 programs with 835 hours of playing time. No wonder I am a bit knackered!

Photo - Curtains calls after the Gotterdamerung general on 16th Nov. Yes, the full orchestra are on stage. I am in the front row, just inside the LH "house" front column as you look, just behind some of the Rhinemaidens and their wonderfully ridiculous headwear!