More
    HomeRussiaResearch Institute of Villainy and Magic // Dmitry Chernyakov staged "Ring of...

    Research Institute of Villainy and Magic // Dmitry Chernyakov staged “Ring of the Nibelung”

    Published on

    The premiere of a new stage version of Der Ring des Nibelungen has begun at the Berlin State Opera — 15 hours of pure music, four performances per week, three cycles per month. Richard Wagner’s tetralogy, the key and most difficult musical theater opus of all time, was staged by Russian director Dmitry Chernyakov. About the first performance of the new “Ring”, its “pre-evening” – “Golden Rhine” – tells Gulara Sadykh-zade.

    The current “Ring” released at a difficult time for the theatre. The permanent head of the Berlin Staatsoper, Daniel Barenboim, was never able to recover from the attack that overtook him right during a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic in mid-April. Closer to the premiere, it became clear that it was necessary to look for a replacement for the musical director. It looks like they made the right choice: Christian Thielemann, one of the best Wagnerian conductors in the world, so far conducts The Ring absolutely impeccably. his interpretations seemed more powerful in sound and much more rhetorical in articulation. Now, subtly adjusting to Chernyakov’s directorial concept, the conductor creates a completely different atmosphere: as if in an undertone, without excessive excitement and agitation, but with particular attention to the intonational relief of the phrase and a unique mystical feeling of each tone of the Wagnerian drama.

    The conductor managed to infect with his hearing a magnificent ensemble of singers. It is a true miracle how the venerable German baritone Michael Folle fit the most difficult party of the supreme god Wotan, requiring remarkable endurance. How funny and unexpectedly characteristic Rolando Villazon turned out to be in the role of the trickster Logue. Dwarf-Niebelung Alberich – a magnificent baritone and actor Johannes Martin Krenzle, Stefan Ryugamer (Mime, Alberich’s brother, a bespectacled intellectual), an imposing, bright Finnish singer Mika Kares (Fazolt), Claudia Manke (Frik, who so went the image of bonton and capricious secular lady) – absolutely everything is good. And although the concept of “Wagnerian singer” implies a demonstration of the ramming power of the voice, in the Berlin production everyone sings with amazing restraint, relying more on the naturalness and flexibility of speech intonation than on effective vocals.

    At the very beginning of Chernyakov’s performance, the world of Wagner’s tetralogy, multi-layered and densely populated with gods and heroes, grows in breadth and depth, born from a tiny lump of neurons and nerve endings stuck together, from the depths of the human brain. From the very first measures of the famous Introduction, beginning with the hidden vibrations of the E-flat tone of double basses, we observe on the screen how the glomerulus throws out tentacles-outgrowths of nerve fibers, how they grow, stimulated by an injection from the outside, how the mycelium of neuroconnections grows, the paths of feelings and sensations are trodden . At first, it seems that the World Tree is born here – that very sacred Ash Tree, the trunk and roots of which hold together the three levels of the world. But soon it turns out that this screen displays the processes occurring in the brain of the test subject – Alberich. These are the Wagnerian gods: Wotan, his wife Frika, her sister, the goddess of youth Freya, and the Donner brothers, the god of thunder and lightning, and Fro, the god of clouds and rainbows. And in the laboratory adjacent to the hall, the subject, entangled in wires and writhing in an armchair from pain and pleasure, is impassively observed by three laboratory assistants: Flosschild, Velgunda and Woglinda (in the original – mermaids, daughters of the Rhine). The VR helmet is the source of Alberich’s visions; and the notorious gold of the Rhine in the performance is fragments of high-tech equipment, which Alberich, having rebelled, pulls out of their casings with meat and takes them down to the basement. -research complex: its director Wotan puts on people risky experiments to create an induced reality generated by the human brain, which in its properties and characteristics would not differ from the real world. In any case, Alberich never learned to separate the world generated by the artificial stimulation of his brain centers from objective reality. This is his tragedy, but also his strength. He manages to infect his fellow Nibelungen tribesmen with his induced delirium – according to Chernyakov, disenfranchised “proles”, the black bone of a research institute who work deep underground, in basements, poring over some kind of microcircuits. They are terribly afraid of their master, Alberich, who treats them like slaves. – the leaders of the institute, the middle one (it houses a vivarium with live guinea pigs) and the lower one – the underground Nibelheim, where Wotan, accompanied by Loge, descends in search of gold. They, unlike the proles, are not subject to induced delirium: they do not see either the huge snake generated by the magic helmet of virtual reality, or the toad, into which Alberich (as it seems to him) has turned. But these transformations are seen by the slaves of Alberich, who feel the imaginary power of a magic ring sparkling on the gnome’s finger.

    The giants Fasolt and Fafner are bred as typical bandits from the 90s: Fasolt is wearing a bright green jacket , Fafner (Peter Rose), as befits a criminal leader, unflappable and radiates a threat hidden behind external calm. The giants come to the institute for the promised payment – they built a separate building, Valhalla, on Wotan’s order, and now they demand Freya, the goddess of youth, as payment (at the premiere, Lithuanian singer Vida Miknevichute sang Freya, replacing the sick Annette Fritsch).

    For this landmark production, Chernyakov assembled a team with whom he has been working for many years: lighting designer Gleb Filshtinsky, costume designer Elena Zaitseva, and video artist Alexei Poluboyarinov. He himself, as usual, acted in two guises – as a stage director and as a set designer. The grandiose multi-level construction of halls, laboratories, basements, smoking rooms and offices rotates on a turntable, lowers and rises. The World Tree – the very Ash Tree, from the branch of which Wotan made his spear – grows through the building of the complex. Its crown sways freely in the conference room, breaking through the roof, its roots go deep into underground rooms. The more convenient it will be for this tree in the next opera, The Valkyries, to play its role in full accordance with the libretto.

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest articles

    Banks stopped accepting dollars and euros through ATMs

    Russian banks have stopped accepting dollars and euros through ATMs, Izvestia found out. ...

    Zelensky warned the EU against a non-European decision on exports from Ukraine

    President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called the decision on the possible extension of restrictions...

    China warns against turning internet into 'battlefield'

    The Chinese authorities opposed the transformation of the Internet into a battlefield, as well...

    The activist told Izvestia about the mood of the protesters in Israel

    For now, the citizens of Israel are opting for peaceful forms of protest against...

    More like this

    Banks stopped accepting dollars and euros through ATMs

    Russian banks have stopped accepting dollars and euros through ATMs, Izvestia found out. ...

    Zelensky warned the EU against a non-European decision on exports from Ukraine

    President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called the decision on the possible extension of restrictions...

    China warns against turning internet into 'battlefield'

    The Chinese authorities opposed the transformation of the Internet into a battlefield, as well...