Monday September 25, 2017 4:33 am


YOUR GATEWAY TO OPERA AND CLASSICAL MUSIC
FanFaire celebrates RICHARD WAGNER
22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883
Man of Genius... totally incapable of anything ordinary!

THE CHEREAU RING CYCLE

ring-chereau-bayreuth-festspielhaus

This was the production the Bayreuth Festspiele staged in 1976 in celebration of its 100th year. It was thus designed to be different, a defining event in the history of both Ring Cycle performances and the Festival. It was, but not without controversy! One that centered mainly on the staging and its specially chosen director, the enfant-terrible of French theatre, PATRICE CHEREAU. Then only 28 but already a much celebrated icon, he had never directed opera before. And he dared transport the mythic gods and dwarves and dragons of Wagner’s venerated masterwork to the sooty, grimy world of the 19th century Industrial Revolution with all its socio-political baggage –to the shocked disbelief and outrage of the audience whose expectations were clearly other-worldly.

 

“Leb wohl” from the final scene, Act 3 of Die Walküre
with bass Donald McIntyre as Wotan and
soprano Dame Gwyneth Jones as Brünnhilde

It was unquestionably revolutionary. There was also audience outrage at the choice of a conductor in PIERRE BOULEZ. They remembered this other Frenchman as another revolutionary, formidable composer and advocate of new serialist music who once suggested blowing up old-fashioned German opera houses as an elegant solution to their hostility toward producing new opera. Those who have a more than passing familiarity with opera know that opera fans are fanatically passionate (or passionately fanatic) about the art form, and should not have been surprised that the centennial celebration though perhaps welcomed by some largely anonymous connoisseurs, was riotously un-welcomed by deafening boos and bloody, mob-like brawls that reportedly ended in ripped dresses and torn earlobes!

Richard Wagner – Das Rheingold Scene 3 (1 de 3)

Richard Wagner – Das Rheingold Scene 3 (1 de 3)

Part 1 of Das Rheingold

Die Walküre: Winterstürme – Du bist der Lenz

Die Walküre: Winterstürme – Du bist der Lenz

Der Ring des Nibelungen, a famous production from Bayreuth 1976, recorded 1980. Jeannine Altmeyer as Sieglinde, Peter Hofmann as Siegmund. Conducted by Pierre Boulez, directed by Patrice Chéreau.

Die Walküre, act one

Die Walküre, act one

Der Ring des Nibelungen, a famous production from Bayreuth 1976, recorded 1980. Jeannine Altmeyer as Sieglinde, Peter Hofmann as Siegmund. Conducted by Pierre Boulez, directed by Patrice Chéreau.

Richard Wagner – Die Walküre – Todesverkündung – Boulez 1981

Richard Wagner – Die Walküre – Todesverkündung – Boulez 1981

Eine der ergreifendsten Szenen der Operngeschichte – in der Inszenierung von Patrice Chéreau, Bayreuth 1981. Dirigent: Pierre Boulez. Darsteller: Gwyneth Jones als Brünnhilde, Peter Hofmann als Siegmund.

Wagner – Die Walkure

Wagner – Die Walkure

The closing scene from the final act of Wagner’s Die Walkure

Donald McIntyre as Wotan

Conducted by Pierre Boulez
Bayreuth Festival

Siegfried, act one

Siegfried, act one

Der Ring des Nibelungen, a famous production from Bayreuth 1976, recorded 1980. Manfred Jung as Siegfried, Heinz Zednik as Mime. Conducted by Pierre Boulez, directed by Patrice Chéreau. Notung! Neidliches Schwert!

Heil dir Sonne – Gwyneth Jones (Siegfried – Brunnhilde)

Heil dir Sonne – Gwyneth Jones (Siegfried – Brunnhilde)

Bayreuth, 1980. Gwyneth Jones and Manfred Jung. Brünnhilde’s awakening in Siegfried’s last act.

Wagner – Siegfried’s Death and Funeral March

Wagner – Siegfried’s Death and Funeral March

Bayreuth/Boulez/Chéreau
Wagner – Siegfried’s Death and Funeral March

wikipedia:
“Subsequently, he was the conductor for the 1976 centenary production of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Patrice Chéreau, recordings of which were commercially released in audio and video formats”
also
Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner at Bayreuth Festival – Filmed for TV
Das Rheingold (1976–1980) : evening
Die Walküre (1976–1980) : first day
Siegfried (1976–1980) : second day
Götterdämmerung (1976–1980)

Götterdämmerung, act three

Götterdämmerung, act three

Der Ring des Nibelungen, a famous production from Bayreuth 1976, recorded 1980. Gwyneth Jones as Brünnhilde, Fritz Hübner as Hagen. Conducted by Pierre Boulez, directed by Patrice Chéreau. Finale of Wagner’s tetralogy.

A video playlist of scenes from the CHEREAU RING CYCLE
Music Direction: PIERRE BOULEZ / Stage Direction: PATRICE CHEREAU /
Set Design: RICHARD PEDUZZI / Artistic supervision: WOLFGANG WAGNER
 

But the show went on… for four more customary years. Time and familiarity did mellow artistic sensibilities. Gaining acceptance and admiration, the production had an unexpectedly happy ending, its last curtain calls greeted with roaring standing ovations–the polar opposite of its first. The 1980 presentation was even the first Ring Cycle to be taped for television, an undertaking so much more complex then, before the advent of digital recording technology, than it is today. Now regarded as a milestone production, the Chereau Ring in liberating the mindset of opera directors from the shackles of tradition, planted the seed for Regieoper (or director’s opera) and forever changed the way opera is produced. – © 2011 GJ Cajipe
 

CAST:
GWYNETH JONES – Brünnhilde, MANFRED JUNG – Siegfried, PETER HOFFMANN – Siegmund, JEANNINE ALTMEYER – Sieglinde, HANNW SCHWARZ – Fricka, HEINZ ZEDNIK – Loge, HERMANN BECHT: Alberich, HELMUT PAMPUCH – Mime

 

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