Happy drinking foursome with Grail Chalice next to Fafner's corpse

No dragon! Nowhere.

Happy drinking foursome with Grail Chalice next to Fafner's corpse

No dragon! Nowhere. Scandal! But it was already clear anyway. Even the Wagnerians' favorite heraldic animal does not appear in the new "Siegfried" on Bayreuth's long ago glowing yellow hill. The missing list, which the hardcore faithful to the work present on Friday evening at 10:30 p.m., after the “Götterdämmerung”, that is, as a negative director’s bill when Valentin Schwarz and his team finally step in front of the curtain, it is now again by various points that have crossed a red line increased. Find many.

The traditionalists above all, who have not been shaken by anything since 1876 in the foundations of their conservative conviction of naturalism, which clings to crest, spear and lindworm. Although it has been stinking old-fashioned since the 1920s at the latest. But the Bayreuth Festival is still her almost nostalgic stronghold. If necessary, defended with the whistle. Just like last time with the "Ring" outrage of the old evil conviction ossi Frank Castorf.

But others are excited. Because this "Ring" has gotten involved with the narrative influenced by the current TV dramaturgy, the loving cynicism towards the characters, the various swivels, the new personage, the omitted props junk - then it runs very casually and extremely entertaining away. The fall height is sometimes low, sometimes it gets really silly. But Wagner's music does the rest.

In the third part of the “Ring” she finally does so in her full size, with dignity, fullness, strength and splendor. Because Cornelius Meister, who had just been elected tetralogy master, did not need twelve years to think about it, like Richard Wagner did between the first and second scene of the second act, but he did need two opera parts to get himself up to speed in the mythical abyss. Now he reigns supreme as a sound guide and scene dominator through the tones. You don't have to keep reminding yourself of the score, it's ever-present, burdensome, paints moods that Valentin Schwarz captures precisely and musically on the scene.

We have now also understood that this ambience, conceived by Andrea Cozzi (the versatile, spacious stage that is constantly being reassembled from old components) and Andy Visit (the quirky, shrill costumes with a love of detail) belongs together, that there are various floors, rooms, Buildings of the sprawling Villa Valhalla are where the diverse tribes, sub-factions, and mutually hating individuals of this evil family must get along.

In the first act, Mime and Siegfried live in the caretaker's apartment of the long-dead Hundings. The pictures are missing, the broken garage is boarded up. But the former daycare keeper guards a special treasure: by playing the handicapped, he binds Siegfried, from whom everyone hopes for salvation, to himself. At the same time, he has heard about his murder at a hidden shooting range and has created an almost comical gallery of children's dolls, there is also a Punch and Judy show, and right from the start he acts the magician.

Arnold Bezuyen is a deeply tragic figure, torn, weak, he whines and wails. This has also been sung in a more heroic, healthier way in recent years, but it is also a vocal character drawing decision here.

He forms a strange couple with Siegfried: he is a blond, matted Terminator in the Making, full of raw power and a sparrow brain, childish but highly dangerous. He drinks vodka by the gallon, eats Chinese takeout and likes to saute with noodles, but he also plays with swords. So there's a Star Wars light tube for the birthday, but also - finally - Notung as a sword, which can be pulled from Mimes' crutch and which Andreas Schager imitates with flying sparks and a healthy volume. Rarely has it been more comical between mess and booze in this filthy nursery. And seldom did Siegfried have fewer nuances between stainless tuning steel and a healthy affection for the Valkyries of the month in the sex magazines offered by the educator.

He just wants to be heroic. And hit it. He does that first with the puppets, later with Mime, who is cut off at the end of the second act, as befits the libretto. After all, he drunkenly divulged his evil intentions during a brisk four-person cocktail party with Hagen and the little forest bird next to Fafner's corpse. Oh yes, the dragon, that's an old, bedridden doddering old man (Wilhelm Schwinghammer, of course, sings him with bass power) whose death everyone is actually waiting for.

Wotan (recovered from his chair accident and with much better, also dynamically finer varied clarity: Tomasz Konieczny), who had to leave his luxury loft to the old man (still in debt?) and now wanders around as a wanderer. Alberich (strong again: Olafur Sigurdarson), who sits in the armchair with his unloved brother and awaits things that are brutally victorious. But also Fafner's nurses. Nobody lifts a finger when Siegfried smacks his walker away and he rattles on the floor without a rattle. Yes, the forest bird (charming soprano: Alexandra Steiner), a nurse who tends to gossip and twitters, ostentatiously covers the insidious gentleman with her stripped apron for a pointedly set nude tie. And Fafner's foster son Hagen (now grown up: Branko Buchberger), taken over by Alberich and Wotan, including the ring, quickly and nefariously takes Siegfried's side.

All of this is told in a very straightforward and pitiless manner. If you have family members like that, you don't need enemies anymore. Valentin Schwarz also has a few gimmicks up his sleeve for the connoisseur. For example the glowing white longing cube with the pyramid that was standing around at Fafner's and later stolen by the blind Erda (again concentrated in large volumes in old beauty: Okka von der Damerau). It's probably something like "Rosebud", the children's sled from "Citizen Kane", something beautiful, lost, sentimental. And while drinking in a binge in the seating area that Fricka has long since left, Mime drinks from a kind of grail chalice.

In the third act, Daniela Köhler, rested with the most beautiful allure, but somewhat wobbly amplitude, soprano-roaring, appears as the reawakened Brünnhilde from her black, glass-rocky front garden pyramid, alias Valkyrie rock, like the mummy with sunglasses. She could also have used the power nap time for a botox booster like her sisters.

In any case, she stands there radiantly like a mermaid in the same nightgown as the dark-haired Gwyneth Jones once did with Chéreau in "Götterdämmerung". But then the aged companion Grane (my steed: Igor Schwab) trots in. She quickly becomes a relaxed lady with a lower body, like she used to be. And Siggi has to use all of his amorous courtship and raw courtship skills so that this spontaneous courtship, which is only slowly gaining momentum, doesn't end up as a ménage a trois in sun and light.

In this “Siegfried” too, one has to say goodbye to a lot of Wagner gibberish that one has grown fond of and that is considered irrefutable. But you get presented with various, not considered possible, consistently even more unsympathetic traits of the actors. There are boos for that. But the well-dosed increasing musical side is mostly applauded. So that this sensational “ring” now becomes more rounded in its provocative, everyday TV aesthetics.

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