Free-thinking, watchable production of one of operas peaks
A terrific production that really lends itself to the (small) screen. Chereau and Boulez went about building a production from scratch that would be faithful to Wagner's idea of music theatre in mounting this work (and part of the extras on the recording is a making-of documentary on all four operas of their Ring Cycle, of which this is one part).
Crucially, the performance is kinetic, especially in the famous first act. The Siegmund and Seglinde of Altmeyer and Hoffmann - siblings who become lovers during the act - defy casting convention in being young, lithe, dramatic singers. And so the process continues with casting, design and dramatic intent built from the principles of what is to be achieved in presenting the drama to the audience. The singing does not suffer as you'd be forgiven for thinking it might; the performance from the pit is first rate. 7/10
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