×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gotterdammerung

What Robert Lepage began so spectacularly with "Das Rheingold" has ended in a visual mishmash with "Gotterdammerung."

With:
Brunnhilde - Deborah Voigt
Siegfried - Jay Hunter
Morris Gunther - Iain Paterson
Hagen - Hans-Peter Konig
Gutrune - Wendy Bryn Harmer
Waltraute - Waltraud Meier
Alberich - Eric Owens
With: Maria Radner, Elizabeth Bishop, Heidi Melton, Erin Morley, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Tamara Mumford

What Robert Lepage began so spectacularly with “Das Rheingold” has ended in a visual mishmash with “Gotterdammerung,” the fourth opera in Richard Wagner tetralogy “The Ring of the Nibelung.” Fabio Luisi’s conducting continues to be taut, almost driven; the cast, led by a vocally reborn Deborah Voigt as Brunnhilde, is topnotch; but Lepage’s umpteen-ton monolith of connected piano keys has become less intriguing, more superfluous to Wagner’s drama with each opera.

The hyper-realistic imagery of forests and waterfalls returns for this fourth and final chapter in the twilight-of-the-gods saga. But “Gotterdammerung” is a little late in the story to introduce op art visuals and trippy colors from a Jimi Hendrix poster. Also, the production looks oddly unfinished. The Met’s vast cyclorama, home to so many awesome skyscapes, runs the spectrum from steel gray to pale beige for most of the five-plus-hour evening. And the actors, when they exit or enter downstage, have to take a step to get to and from the playing area.

Whatever happened to Lepage’s imagination, which gave the characters of “Das Rheingold” so many thrilling exits and entrances? Three operas later, the singers pretty much saunter on and off downstage. They rarely interact with the set, much less inhabit it; rather, those suspended planks that fold and rotate are now a mere backdrop for the action.

When he’s working on all cylinders, Lepage can conjure up some dazzling visuals, but as evidenced here, he’s not much of a director of people. He gives them a few feet down front to do their business, while that big set behind them morphs into a new shape to project streams, trees or lava-lamp abstractions. Big disappointment: The apocalypse comes when five statues representing the gods (I think) get their plaster heads blown off.

In “Das Rheingold” Lepage didn’t give any great insight into Wagner’s masterpiece, but he did tell the complicated story effectively and, at its best, the production offered a grand visual representation of the magnificent music.

Thank the gods for that music. Under Luisi’s baton, Voigt is a gut-wrenching, stridently passionate and wounded warrior. Her Siegfried, Jay Hunter Morris, does not possess a trumpet voice, but he presents a more than adequate, honorable portrait and actually makes dramatic sense of this boy-man-hero-fool. In more ways than one, he’s no match for the stentorian Hans-Peter Konig, whose Hagen continues his family’s bad business and almost gets the ring back. Maybe next cycle.

The Met Opera transmits live to movie theaters the Feb. 11 performance of “Gotterdammerung” at 12 p.m. ET.

Gotterdammerung

Metropolitan Opera, New York City; 3,800 seats; $475 top

Production: A Metropolitan Opera presentation of an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. Directed by Robert Lepage. Conducted by Fabio Luisi. Set, Carl Fillion; costumes, Francois St-Aubin; Etienne Boucher; video images, Lionel Arnould. Opened, reviewed Jan. 27, 2012. Running time: 5 HOURS, 45 MIN.

Cast: Brunnhilde - Deborah Voigt
Siegfried - Jay Hunter
Morris Gunther - Iain Paterson
Hagen - Hans-Peter Konig
Gutrune - Wendy Bryn Harmer
Waltraute - Waltraud Meier
Alberich - Eric Owens
With: Maria Radner, Elizabeth Bishop, Heidi Melton, Erin Morley, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Tamara Mumford

More Music

  • Jade Bird album

    Album Review: Jade Bird’s Self-Titled Debut

    Jade Bird is a 21-year-old London-spawned singer-songwriter with a voice that can shift from soft sweetness to blow-your-hair-back belting in the course of two syllables. It’s a talent uses strategically in her songwriting: Many songs on this, her debut full-length, find their payoff with a sudden blast of vocal volume that evokes slapstick scenes of [...]

  • Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran

    Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, More Star in Lil Dicky’s Ecology Anthem ‘Earth’

    “Socially conscious” isn’t the first term that is usually associated with smart-ass rapper Lil Dicky, but the dude has doubled down on calling in superstar friends to accompany him on his pro-ecology anthem “Earth”: The song and video feature the voices of some 30 people, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Zac Brown, Brendon Urie, Hailee Steinfeld, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop [...]

  • Lizzo "Cuz I Love You"

    Album Review: Lizzo's 'Cuz I Love You'

    Lizzo — flautist, funky emcee, powerhouse vocalist, Playboy pictorial sensation and the newly minted toast of Coachella — is not wasting a second of her time, or yours, getting to the meat of her bold, brash existence. Take the title track of “Cuz I Love You,” her first major-label album. The opening moments sound as [...]

  • Pete Buttigieg Show Business Donations

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg Is Totally Up for Booking Phish for His Inauguration

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign seems to be going Phish-ing… in the best possible sense. (Unless you just hate the band Phish so much there is no best possible sense.) The Democratic presidential candidate has previously indicated his love for the group, and when a reporter suggested Phish play at his theoretical swearing-in festivities in 2021, [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Nicki MinajCFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner,

    Nicki Minaj Parts Ways With Longtime Managers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nicki Minaj has parted ways with Gee Roberson and Cortez Bryant and Blueprint/ Maverick Management, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. She had worked with the pair for the majority of her career. The source says the decision was mutual and amicable, and there was no specific reason for the split, adding [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content