Music

Nov 28, 2013

The Ring looked more like cheap bling

Tacky stage design of the Ring disappointed audiences and would have benefited from a single artist's vision, writes critic and historian Ian Britain.

In most theatres the audience changes every night while the show remains the same for the season. When a full Ring cycle’s on, the reverse is the case. Among the punters at the Melbourne Ring, there were only a few new faces on each of the four successive evenings.  It was pretty much the same bums on the same seats night after night.

The audience’s responses from night to night remained fairly uniform, too, at least on the surface: generous, sustained applause at the end of each act and then again at the final curtain calls -- with slight variations according to the particular singer taking a bow, but no boos or catcalls that I could discern.  At the same time, there was no rapturous foot-stomping, little whooping, and (until the last night at least) only the odd cry of bravo here and there. Compared to the eruptions of excitement -- or disapproval -- that can overtake European opera houses, it was all a bit subdued.

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “The Ring looked more like cheap bling

  1. sebster

    Maybe Anthony Clarke was sitting in a different production of the Ring from the one I attended, but the cheers and bravos rang out after the conclusion of all 4 operas, and particularly after Siegfried (for the amazing star, Stefan Vinke), and the thrilling conclusion, Götterdämmerung.
    There were boos too – a few – after the sensationally colourful Rheingold with its Australiana.
    I agree, not everything worked, but it was a stunning achievement, with few missteps – certainly with singing and playing as sumptuous as that, there’s very little damage that can be done with the occasional design flaw. Bravo Armfield, and all the rest.
    Although I did miss the ash tree too…

  2. sebster

    I understand this piece was actually written by Ian Britain – online piece has been corrected. My apologies to Mr Clarke.

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