The Washington Post's Anne Midgette has been posting excerpts of her interviews with the directors of four different Ring cycles currently being produced across the U.S. in Seattle, New York, L.A. and San Francisco/Washington D.C..
Today's post was particularly interesting for the completely opposite interpretations of the audience's perception of Siegfried, with L.A.'s director Achim Freyer calling it the most "beloved" of the cycle and containing a straight line narrative while S.F./D.C.'s Francesca Zambello says it's the one people think they "have to sit through" and it's all about language.
N.Y.'s Otto Schenk says it's all drama while Seattle's Stephen Wadsworth says Act 1 is "chock-a-block full of action."
I'm not familiar with the Seattle Ring, but I know the Schenk production through DVDs, and I am attending the L.A. and S.F. productions as they unfurl and the three couldn't really be more different. So far, L.A.'s is far away the superior and rewarding experience, but these differing interpretations of the same opera do illustrate one of the greatest things about the art and why directors are so important to the medium.
The Opera Tattler and the scribe of Out West Arts are two of at least four bloggers I'm aware of currently attending the last cycle of the Met's Schenk Ring and their reviews are making me feel somewhat better for skipping this jaunt, though I would love to have a pastrami sandwich this morning