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Das Rheingold

By Richard Wagner

Opera North

The Lowry, 10 September 2011

Das Rheingold

Tolkien for grownups, that would be one way of describing Wagner’s Ring cycle.

This was a fine staging of Das Rheingold, the preliminary work in the cycle, although one small drawback was that sometimes the narrative text appeared on the screen for too short a duration.  The orchestra was centre stage yet the story was easy to follow, thanks in large part to the splendid performances all around.  For me, Michael Druiett as Wotan and Peter Sidhom, who played Alberich, stood out.

It is mainly a drama about decline and undesirable change, lust for power and unbridled ambition.  Everything has a cost and even the gods cannot bank on being immortal forever.

There is probably a PhD waiting to be written about the influence of Wagner on Stan Lee’s creation of Thor, god of thunder.  Some bright spark may even have got the gig already.

Opera North will be staging Die Walkure next year, so there is still plenty of time to get into training for that one.  Some details are here.