Tristan und Isolde was the first Wagner opera I ever saw, at Seattle Opera about four years ago. It was glorious and dark and tense. The production the Bayerische Staatsoper has (which dates back to 1998, and which I hope they keep for many more years) is the exact opposite. Bright colors! A cruise ship! Childish scribbles! It’s absolutely not what you’d expect, and it works beautifully. This cast was also fabulous. I cried. You can read my more complete and coherent review on Bachtrack.
My second full, live Ring cycle has come to an end! Götterdämmerung was better than the rest of the cycle led me to expect, which was a very pleasant surprise. As a singer and actress myself, I usually focus on the cast and staging, but Kirill Petrenko has been such a fabulous conductor this whole cycle that some of my highest words of praise were reserved for him. My full review is here on Bachtrack.
Munich’s Ring got off to an inconsistent start, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from Siegfried. It was only mediocre. I think a big part of the problem is that Siegfried himself is so important and is an almost impossible role to cast. Anyway, my full review is here on Bachtrack.
I had two opera nights in a row this weekend! On Saturday, I saw the next installment in the Staatsoper’s Ring cycle. I wasn’t terribly excited about the first opera in the series, but Die Walküre was fabulous. My review is here.
Then for something completely different came Rossini’s La Cenerentola. (That’s “Cinderella” in English.) It was silly and kind of dumb, but very charming. I couldn’t stop smiling by the end. And I am now convinced that the tenor Javier Camarena is not human. His high notes are simply impossible! My full review is here.
I started watching my second complete Ring cycle on Friday, with Das Rheingold at the Bayerische Staatsoper. It was very pretty, but not nearly as moving or deep as the last Ring I saw. (Go, Seattle!) You can read my review here. (For comparison, here is my review of the Seattle Opera production a year and a half ago.)