Der Ring des Nibelungen: Barenboim

Der Ring des Niebelungen by Richard Wagner, Bayreuther Festspiele, Daniel Barenboim   ★★★★
Watched the DVD version of this opera, or, rather, a set of 4 operas. All in all, very well done, staged in a moderately minimalist style. Oddly, the staging manager really liked to see the singers chortling at full volume while clinging onto ladders at a very high altitude. At least half the scenes had the ladder motif. Other than that, the musicians were stellar. Really, how can you condemn a Wagnerian singer, who has to memorize 10 hours of singing, perform it in 4 consecutive days, without any audience forgiveness for even the slightest error? I don’t know how anybody can sing opera. Yet, it is done and done quite well. Or, at least with the Ring series, it is done super-humanly well. For DVD recordings, I prefer the Met opera performance by Levine, though that is mostly for the fact that traditional staging was used. Even the Boulez recording, which is super-minimalist, is awesome as a soundtrack. Since it’s been a tradition to listen or watch the Ring each Christmas season, I’ll look forward to recommendations for next year.