‘The Ring’ will ‘Cycle’ itself anew…

With much media attention, but little celebrated fanfare; the dedicated and hard-working Metropolitan Opera stage crew reportedly disassembled and loaded for transport perhaps the most talked about set in Met history:  “The Machine”.  Its 24 articulating half-diamond shaped planks are to be housed in a warehouse somewhere in upstate New York for an indefinite period of time.  Until now, the most recently “most talked about” set at the Metropolitan Opera (but coming in a distant second place by comparison) was that of the three separate gigantic, and rather beautiful, sets that served as the back-drop for Puccini’s Il Trittico…a production that I sang in twice (Il tabarro) in the last handful of years.  It was considered the largest set(s) to have ever occupied the stage of this august arts facility, requiring some 18 tractor-trailer trucks for transportation.  The difference is that it was believed that the sets from the latter firmly enhanced the underlying music/drama that Puccini so perfectly embedded into his operas.  In the case of “The Machine”, this was less than the majority opinion; with everyone entitled to their own perception.

The effect of “The Machine”, as opined by many, has almost overshadowed the glorious singing, acting, conducting, and instrumental expertise that was so clearly evident and on full display for the past three seasons as the Metropolitan Opera presented Richard Wagner’s time-shifting masterpiece, Der Ring des Nibelungen.  The magnificent casts of singing actors dominated this music-drama in ways that may never be equalled…at least until the next rendering on as major a scale comes down the pike.  Let us never forget that the reason opera companies commission such productions, whether controversial, loved or hated, or otherwise, is because of scores and libretti that scream for such.  I can hardly speak to the cost of this recent Met production (way above my pay-grade), or its impending hiatus from the company’s schedule in the out-years.  All I can say is that I was happy to be a small part of this production, aware of a nod toward history, and to be amongst such talented and gifted colleagues.

Looking ahead:
There isn’t a major musical arts institution that doesn’t dream about bringing The Ring to fruition.  One such organization is currently working on its casting for what may well be the most serious and sublime of ‘Ring’ recordings and presentations in recent times.  I am not at liberty to speak to this matter at this moment; but one thing is for sure…

The Ring will Cycle itself anew…you can count on it!!





15 Comments so far

  1. Strahan T. May 20th, 2013 10:23 pm

    I remember that Trittico. It was gorgeous. This Ring was OK, but I think they themselves expected more from the machine

  2. Fred P. May 20th, 2013 10:56 pm

    Wow David. Something’s up, right?

  3. Janice F. May 20th, 2013 11:04 pm

    I loved the production and the set. Can’t say the same of other productions this year, I’m sorry to say.

  4. Arnold R. May 20th, 2013 11:22 pm

    Thanks David for your thoughts on the MET Ring production. Always nice to hear from an insider. I also enjoy your writing a great deal. Keep posting friend. Arnold

  5. Charles T. May 21st, 2013 12:38 am

    Cant wait to see your next ring cycle david

  6. Misha A. May 21st, 2013 6:54 am

    fundamental and so basic but we should never forget the singers and musicains that you are so good to mention

  7. Mira D. May 21st, 2013 7:19 am

    I wish the regular press would write this good!

  8. Will E. May 21st, 2013 8:05 am

    This is good stuff, real but respectful of your workplace as well

  9. Keyes L. May 21st, 2013 8:11 am

    At least folks are talking about the Met; better than nothing.

  10. Paul P. May 21st, 2013 8:57 am

    Excellent analysis

  11. Robert G. May 21st, 2013 2:30 pm

    Really fine writing and analysys.

  12. Karen V. May 21st, 2013 3:15 pm

    At last and artist who undestands from both ends of the spectrum. Is there a new ring cycle in the works for you?

  13. Vince C. May 21st, 2013 4:37 pm

    Nicely put

  14. Morris P. May 21st, 2013 5:52 pm

    I think that your life/career choice should be that of critic and historian. Your blog postings are always full of an equal balance of both. Love the more personal postings as well. You have written some real tear-jerkers, and some really memorable fun ones too!

  15. Trudy W. May 21st, 2013 8:29 pm

    Thanks you for alwoasy writing something interesting david

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