music

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

MOTHERLY ADVICE FOR MUSICAL FANATICS

A REMINDER OF THE OTHER OPTIONS

Dear fellow-musicians and enthusiastic audience,

We all have that ONE (or 4) composers who make our hearts beat faster as soon as we hear their music.
If you are fortunate, THIS composer will eternally put the butterflies of joy in your step,
cause your eyes to sparkle  more brightly than a Tiffany’s display AND
give you the energy and motivation to tirelessly slave away at studying and performing
the gems of greatness that will keep your enthusiastic audience clamouring for more
and prepared to travel the seven seas for the opportunity to partake of the feast.

TODAY I ask you in a very motherly fashion:
Dearest, have you considered the other 360 degrees of your passion?

If you are too close to the object of your admiration,
be it music, a flower, the latest Mercedes or shoes,
you cannot possibly enjoy all  the options available when seeing the bigger picture.

Consider your beloved composers:
How could they, mere human beings, capture something as fragile as a musical idea and relentlessly put it to paper
for us to study, make our own and convince audiences that THIS fragile idea is something they NEED – not a
luxury, but a necessity?

If you are prepared to take one step back to see the bigger picture, the answer is simple:
they interacted with the people, times and situations they lived in and
remained honest to their own ideals and weaknesses.

One of the biggest compliments you could pay your beloved composers, would be not to keep them in isolation:
Consider how these composers interacted with their colleagues, companions and times and do the same.

As grandmother Anna used to say:
Do not cloud your enjoyment of today with the might-have-beens of yesterday!

sapphire-modern-ring-cluster

 

Photographer of the cover picture: Benno Hunziger