Tuesday 9 May 2006

Review of Götterdämmerung - Part 2

2nd part of my review of Götterdämmerung at Covent Garden

Act 2 opens with Hagen's dream. Hagen was in front of the act drop, but just before Alberich's entry, Hagen turns round an 'lifts' the act drop up to reveal a set decorated completely in the swirly equations from the act drop. Alberich was suspended, mid-air in a small boat. The scene between Tomlinson's Hagen and Peter Sidhom's Alberich was very strong, despite the peculiarity of Alberich's placing.

For the remainder of Act 2 were were back in the glitzy Gibichung hall, this time with the addition of 4 rather kitsch, life-sized gold statues of the gods. Kitsch was a strong element in this staging, with the male chorus putting on black horned helmets, even though their costumes were 20th century. Presumably it was all to point up the meretriciousness of the Gibichung's existence. But I'm not sure this needed so much emphasis. This kitsch, combined with Hagen's showy bumptiousness seemed too over the top and verged on the camp.

Still, it did go a long way towards emphasising Brünnhilde's alienation. Dressed just in a sleevless shift, Gasteen's demeanour and her robust frame made her stand out from the effete court. Gasteen's performance in this act was wonderfully strong and went a long way towards palliating my annoyance with the production.

Treleaven succeeded in making Siegfried seem naive without being idiotic, which was a help. The act closed with a terrific account of the trio, quite a musical highlight.

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