'Das Rheingold' tells the story about Alberich's theft of the gold from the Rhine, the forging of the Ring of power and sets off a cascade of events that further develop in the subsequent operas of the Ring Cycle.
A bank heist descends into violent chaos when one of the hostages turns out to be a serial killer. Trapping the well-organized team of bank robbers in the building, the killer is now picking them off one by one.
My least favourite of the 1990 Met Ring cycle productions, but still excellent
I loved the 1990 Met productions of Das Rheingold, Die Walkure and Siegfried, but I just really liked this Gotterdamerung. The visuals do make this the darkest visually of the 1990 Met Ring cycle productions which isn't a problem as such. The costumes and sets are grand and imposing and the video directing is excellent, the lighting is the issue, some of the production is very dimly lit.
Another disappointment is the death of Siegfried, musically and visually it's fine, staging wise it is not as dramatic as it should, more on Jerusalem's part and the staging itself than Salminen's. That said, the music, story and characters are just wonderful, no fault there, and the finale is superbly staged. The orchestra and James Levine perform this complex score with few faults at all.
While I liked her in Die Walkure and loved her in Siegfried, it is Gotterdamerung where Hildegard Brehrens as Brunhilde comes into her own particularly in her big scene at the end of the opera. Siegfried Jerusalem is a very good Siegfried, Christa Ludwig is a limpid Waltraute and Anthony Schaffel an unsympathetic Gunther, the big draw is Matti Salminen who actually becomes Hagen. Hagen's call is absolutely thrilling.
In conclusion, while my least favourite of the four 1990 Met productions of the Ring cycle, thanks to Salminen in particular it is still excellent. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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