Saturday, March 20, 2021

San Francisco Ring -- Siegfried


Conductor: Donald Runnicles 
Director: Francesca Zambello 

Mime: David Cangelosi 
Siegfried: Daniel Brenna *
The Wanderer (Wotan): Greer Grimsley 
Alberich: Falk Struckmann 
Fafner: Raymond Aceto 
Forest Bird: Stacey Tappan 
Erda: Ronnita Miller 
Brünnhilde: Iréne Theorin 

I am enjoying that at the beginning of Siegfried Mime is banging in the rhythm of the score.  We are up to the part of the San Francisco Ring that I have not seen before.  The last time I simply was too tired to do four long operas in a row.  This is part of the caravan series.  Mime and Siegfried live in a busted up caravan.  We actually get a bear--not an actual bear.  

Wotan comes in to check on Siegfried.  I actually love Greer's harsh, growly voice as Wotan.  Mime and the The Wanderer are exchanging riddles and Mime recognizes that this is Wotan.  He is too dumb to figure out who it is who has never known fear.  We figure this out easily.  How about someone who brings a live bear home with him?  The reforging of the sword is very convincing.  In retrospect I suspect that Mime is pretending not to know.

This scene with Alberich and The Wanderer is reminding my of my rule of 3 baritones.  "Never go to an opera with three baritones."  This is a hell of a lot of snarling and growling.  Wotan by himself is fine.  Wotan wanders from place to place seemingly to provide Wagner with someone to explain what is going on.  I insist on my no explaining/all showing philosophy.  These operas are so long because someone is always explaining something.

The character of Siegfried in the person of Daniel Brenna is enjoyable.  The production seems to work in spite of the fact that the dragon is a machine.  Theoretically the machine should disappear when Siegfried takes the Tarnhelm from Fafner.

I like more and more the Wotan of Greer Grimsley.  However, he summons Erda and then doesn't really ask her anything.  He predicts the end of the gods, including her.  Then when Siegfried breaks Wotan's spear with Notung, all truly is over.

This is very cool.  "Mother, behold your fearless child."  He's terrified of a sleeping woman.  Herr Wagner, at last you have done it.  He kisses her awake like sleeping beauty.  We waited a very long time, but this is the best thing ever.  He thanks his mother for giving him life.  If it only ended here!

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