BAYREUTH

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

Richards RING I

Cancellations, an uncertain future and the creativity born of isolation have turned my assistant, Richard into a romping tyrant! As his beloved Bayreuth Festival has been cancelled he has started designing his own sets, musical version and costumes for future productions of DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN.

Delusions of grandeur has him turning our 2-woman, 3-dog household upside down with impatient demands for immediate results. We have scurried to around to produce a first storyboard of Richard’s expectations.

Richard may here be seen giving his interpretation of Main Man WOTAN

Although his concept is primarily intended for a full-scale RING production, he admits that, because of his masterly use of lighting, texture and composition lesser stage directors may be tempted to adopt his genius for their genre. LIVE AND LET LIVE!

Fully aware that his concept might end up costing several arms and legs, he is already thinking of ways to cut cost. Practical example: instead of 3 Rhinemaidens at the beginning of DAS RHEINGOLD, he has rearranged music and text so that ONE buxom female singer of a countertenor with frightening range may replace the more expensive trio.

Before creating his concept Richard studied the original score and designs. He takes it for granted that other, lesser directors also do so before verbalizing their incompetence…..After his 21 years working the opera scene, this opinion has been cause of great mirth and wonderment.

Richard insisted our dogs were involved in casting options. Doodlebug may here be seen pretending to be the giants Fasolt & Fafner who built Wotan Valhalla.

So let us leave the excessive speculation to those who prefer to work in a bubble of toxic pretense and present the visible results of our humble efforts to make Richards dream a reality.

If Richard reads about a horse in the libretto, he’ll expect to SEE an actual horse AND will assume the singer allowed to mount the feisty animal would be the star of any professional rodeo.
Masterly lighting expected at all times. If singers on stage are expected to wear spectacular clothing, Richard wants the paying audience to appreciate that side of his genius as well.
Costume designs for females should enhance the femininity of the wearer. “DEATH TO NEUTRALITY!” – Richard
The importance of body angles when two characters meet on an opera stage illustrated touchingly by proud Richard and shy warrior Marietta.
As barren, clinical sets have been overused to the point of spontaneous euthanasia, Richard is zealously experimenting with allowing the stage to breathe, invite and develop the story being told to an audience – as it was meant to.
Marietta may here be seen as a proud Brünnhilde defending her horse against Wotan. She trained very hard to be able to take part in our flying scenes AND went to a professional sportswear shop for the right underwear. LADIES & GENTLEMEN: please research appropriate personal underwear before daring to take part in one of Richard’s spectacles!
Spectacular, slow dying is often on the opera menu.

Richard still stubbornly refuses to call operas “music theatre”. He maintains that composers and librettists of his favourite operas have been dead for such a long time that he WILL not be part of the hordes of charlatans immorally dance on the graves of the Great. This approach might be the only evidence that Richard harbours SOME humility in his furry chest.

Sets, lighting & costumes seen above were created, under the firm guiding hand of Richard, by Madame Helen Bickers.

Copyright: Emiro von Berejesa