Ansi Verwey

Richards RING II

Why do we need to have the old stories retold, revamped and rearranged?
Simple: as long as we‘re alive there will be new options in life, love and laughter to be examined, suffered through and applied to our daily grind.

My assistant Richard is a relentless force, urging me to tell, retell and relive a classic: Wagner‘s THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG.

Act I:

My assistant Richard may here be seen with his amour Marietta. While in semi-lockdown with the great Helen Bickers - creator of sets, costumes and lighting used in Richards RING - we uncovered new options of interpreting, enjoying and visualising love, languor and lewdness in Wagnerian relationships.
Richard may here be seen with his amour Marietta. While in semi-lockdown with the great Helen Bickers – creator of sets, costumes and lighting used in Richards RING – we uncovered new options of interpreting, enjoying and visualising love, languor and lewdness in Wagnerian relationships.

Richard‘s take on the scene above: „When Siegmund first laid eyes on Sieglinde all his anguish disappeared! The nightmare of his reality dissolved in the eyes of this pure, suffering maiden. Before mere words could break the spell, he knew their union blessed by all creation.“

Our set chooses green silk to salute all couples who ever belted, loved and killed in Bayreuththe ultimate GREEN HILL!

Act II:

Marietta here portrays many facets of WOMAN ETERNAL:
Brünnhilde, the beloved daughter of Wotan, living to obey….
+ ALL Valkyries, ready to kill or clean at daddy Wotan‘s command,
+ SIEGLINDE, the wounded, waiting, hormonally unstable earthly waif.

Richard as young Wotan: „When I look at my Brünnhilde, I salute the beauty, athletic prowess and divinity of all women in my universe!“
Richard as Siegmund: „THIS is the sister my heart and loins have been incomplete with!“
And as Hagen: „This ex-godly mere woman will surely be of some use to realise my evil plans, (evil laughter:) HOI HO!“

The breastplate of this costume design is a salute to the art of creating practical, inspiring items of clothing for the big opera stage. Attention to detail: how many pasties does Marietta‘s costume have? The spear alone should have a novel devoted to it!

Act III:

Richard may here be seen portraying a young Wotan who still hasn‘t sacrificed an eye for the favours of the sultry Fricka. Elements of his costume clearly point toward his to-be-created relations Siegmund and Siegfried. Artistic freedom: Wotan is already wearing a ring. Every child knows that the ring will only be forged MUCH later in the actual story.

You may ask yourself why I choose to blog about the Wagnerian take on mythology in these times. BIG THEME…please read „WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES“ by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and get back to me.

Act IV:

As grand finale: Richard and Marietta remind us to enjoy what we have right under our noses. Even if you don‘t have a garden, step out onto the balcony,
or open a window, and
KEEP IT GREEN!

If you find what I wrote above confusing, GREAT! With Richard‘s help I want to unveil tiny, appetising portions of Richard Wagner‘s DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN to any reader prepared to remove mindcuffs of mediocrity.

I like summing up the story of Wagner‘s ca. 15 hour RING as follows: „Whosoever steals the gold in the river Rhine from the Rhine maidens and makes himself a ring out of it will be ordained master of the universe.“

The RING thus deals with two timeless issues: politics…..and jewellery, HO JO TO HO!

Suggested listening: the ride of the Valkyries

Copyright for all costumes, sets and designs: Helen Bickers
Patrons: Emiro von Berejesa, Tango, Lussys von Scajuka